ju·​ba ˈjü-bə How to pronounce juba (audio)
in U.S. history
: a dance that was accompanied by complex rhythmic hand clapping and slapping of the knees and thighs and that was performed on plantations in the southern U.S. by enslaved Black people
also : the style of rhythmic accompaniment used for this dance

Examples of juba in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One unintended upshot of banning drums was the development of body percussion: juba, hambone, tap dance, stepping. Brian Seibert, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2020 Clapping and thigh slapping recall juba dancing, and a circle dance suggests the rudimentary moves of the Afro-Brazilian martial arts form capoeira. Karen Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, 29 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'juba.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of juba was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near juba

Cite this Entry

“Juba.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juba. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Ju·​ba ˈjü-bə How to pronounce Juba (audio)
town and capital of South Sudan population 244,000

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