Definition of duende
: the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm
duende was our Word of the Day on 02/20/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of duende in a sentence
even as a child, she had an unmistakable duende that attracted the attention of passersby
Did You Know?
The word duende refers to a spirit in Spanish, Portuguese, and Filipino folklore and literally means "ghost" or "goblin" in Spanish. It is believed to derive from the phrase "dueño de casa," which means "owner of a house." The term is traditionally used in flamenco music or other art forms to refer to the mystical or powerful force given off by a performer to draw in the audience. The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in his essay "Teoria y Juego del Duende" ("Play and Theory of the Duende") that duende "is a power and not a behavior . . . a struggle and not a concept." Nowadays the term appears in a broader range of contexts to refer to one's unspoken charm or allure.
Origin and Etymology of duende
Spanish dialect, charm, from Spanish, ghost, goblin, probably from duen de casa, from dueño de casa owner of a house
First Known Use: 1964
Seen and Heard
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