dis·​co | \ ˈdi-(ˌ)skō How to pronounce disco (audio) \
plural discos

Definition of disco

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a nightclub for dancing to live and recorded music
2 : popular dance music characterized by hypnotic rhythm, repetitive lyrics, and electronically produced sounds


discoed; discoing; discos

Definition of disco (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to dance to disco music

Definition of disco- (Entry 3 of 3)

— see disc-

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Did You Know?

A style of dance music that arose in the mid-1970s, disco (short for discotheque), is characterized by hypnotic rhythm, repetitive lyrics, and electronically produced sounds. Disco evolved largely from New York underground nightclubs, in which disc jockeys would play dance records for hours without interruption, taking care to synchronize the beats so as to make a seamless change between records. Artists such as Donna Summer, Chic, and the Bee Gees, had hits in the genre, which peaked with the release of the film Saturday Night Fever (1977). Disco faded after 1980, but its influence, especially its sequenced electronic beats, still affects much of pop music.

Examples of disco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Among the features are small, glowing lights in the grass, lights that change colors along the bike path, glowing balloons, spotlights in trees, and disco balls attached to parked cars. Cincinnati.com, "Third annual NightGlow Marathon runs in Hamilton Saturday," 30 Aug. 2019 Jenna has just been killing it lately, more recently stepping out looking like a huge, fashionable disco ball. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "How Jenna Dewan Gets the Perfect Beachy Wave With Ethical Hair Products," 29 Aug. 2019 David's simmering panic becomes palpable, taking the form of destruction: light fixtures burst, decorations crumble, a disco ball shatters. Wired, "David Makes Man Invents a Doorway to a New Kind of TV," 28 Aug. 2019 Now locals come to the 400 or so stores that line the street for discounted clothes, dollar store bric-a-brac, candy, wigs, poufy prom gowns, and wedding dresses for brides who enjoy sparkling like a rhinestone disco ball on their big day. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "Big changes in a petite Montreal neighborhood," 21 Aug. 2019 The news come after a week of teasers posted on ABC's Instagram, in which the broadcaster shared sneaky photos of cast-members whose identities were hidden via strategic cropping and props such as disco balls. Anna Tingley, chicagotribune.com, "'Dancing with the Stars’: Sean Spicer, Lamar Odom and South Side native Kel Mitchell join cast," 21 Aug. 2019 In a partitioned room behind the woman, two men smoked and played cards on a wooden dining table, lit only by black light and a slowly rotating disco ball. Sean Williams, Harper's magazine, "The Black Axe," 19 Aug. 2019 From our drop-top Jeep, the ocean looks like a disco ball, with glints of sunlight and the toothy snarls of demigod surfers and their girls (or demigoddess surfers and their dudes). Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Have a California moment at Neptune’s Net, a landmark seafood shack in Malibu," 8 Aug. 2019 There are plenty of delectably cheesy scenes of Afro-sporting dancers and the host, inevitably clad in a sparkly blazer, all whooping it up beneath a disco ball on the show’s chintzy set. oregonlive.com, "‘Sherman’s Showcase’ review: A goofy, funny parody of vintage TV shows like ‘Soul Train’ and ‘Solid Gold’," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the quarterly earnings dance, Apple waltzed, Advanced Micro Devices stumbled, and Spotify discoed on. Fortune, "How Sanctions Are Starting To Squeeze Huawei—Data Sheet," 31 July 2019 After the screening, I was asked to write a ballad score and disco vocal for a dance scene. Marc Myers, WSJ, "The Nonsense Lyrics That Donna Summer Turned Into a Classic," 22 Aug. 2018 Yubin’s debut single draws on ‘80s disco and soft rock, sprinkling the playful melody with funky instrumentals, sweet harmonies, and playful synths. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Former Wonder Girls Member Yubin Debuts First Solo Song 'Lady': Watch the Video," 5 June 2018 Your soup can and disco looks didn't impress the judges. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Aja talks reintroducing herself on 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' 3," 23 Feb. 2018 Zendaya channeled her inner ‘70s disco Barbie on Monday (August 7) evening, attending Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood Event wearing an ombré pink sparkly pantsuit by designer Vivetta. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Zendaya Wears a Pink Sequined Suit on the Red Carpet," 10 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disco.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disco


1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1976, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disco


short for discotheque

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Statistics for disco

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for disco

The first known use of disco was in 1963

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More Definitions for disco



English Language Learners Definition of disco

: a nightclub where people dance to recorded popular music
: a type of popular dance music

More from Merriam-Webster on disco

Spanish Central: Translation of disco

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about disco

Comments on disco

What made you want to look up disco? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


agony, or difficult or painful work

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