fa·​ve·​la | \ fə-ˈve-lə How to pronounce favela (audio) \
variants: or less commonly favella

Definition of favela

: a settlement of jerry-built shacks lying on the outskirts of a Brazilian city

Examples of favela in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rio's police claim that the May 6 operation in the Jacarezinho favela of Rio's north zone was the result of 10 months of intelligence gathering. DÉbora Álvares, Star Tribune, 9 May 2021 Six hundred more signed up for space on an empty field beside a favela. Terrence Mccoy, Washington Post, 25 June 2021 Lucas admitted that the same driver had taken him to a favela a few weeks earlier, to buy a gun. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 There’s the kibbutz in Israel, and the favela in Brazil. Marcus M. Gilban, sun-sentinel.com, 3 June 2021 Maybe something will trigger it, like a killing in a favela somewhere. Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, 30 May 2021 Then in a single week police operations led to the suspension of emergency food distribution in one favela, left 13 dead in another and resulted in the death of 14-year-old João Pedro Mattos in a third. Washington Post, 20 May 2021 One of the dead was a police officer, the rest lived in the favela. David Miranda, Time, 8 May 2021 The poor and primarily Black faces of the favela made for powerful villain images in media narratives. David Miranda, Time, 8 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'favela.' 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 favela

1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for favela

Brazilian Portuguese favela, perhaps from Favela, hill outside Rio de Janeiro

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Favela.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favela. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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