mam·​bo | \ ˈmäm-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce mambo (audio) \
plural mambos

Definition of mambo

: a ballroom dance of Cuban origin that resembles the rumba and the cha-cha also : the music for this dance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mambo

mambo intransitive verb

Examples of mambo in a Sentence

They learned to dance the mambo. The band played a mambo.

Recent Examples on the Web

DJ Markoz Project directed the dance floor with salsa, merengue, mambo and more. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Rumba with Pride celebrates Houston's Latin LGBT community," 7 June 2019 These Havana natives perform fluent, easy mambo and son cubano that transports listeners to not just another place, but another time. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 In the Caribbean, drums were also used in religious rituals, which evolved into dance rhythms, like the Cuban son, mambo, chachacha and danzón. Deborah Ramírez, miamiherald, "Eddie Palmieri brings his 'Wisdom' to Miami's Olympia Theater | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Zoomba at the Zoo is a 90-minute dance/aerobic workout class, featuring salsa, merengue, mambo and hip-hop. Rianne Coale, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do in Chicago this weekend," 18 May 2017 Yemen Blues Ravid Kahalani's Yemen Blues brings a polyglot mix of music from Yemen and West Africa, with inspirations of contemporary grooves, from funk to mambo, and the deep soul of old chants. Laura Demarco,, "Cleveland Museum of art announces 2018 Solstice performers, ticket info," 2 May 2018 See it: The Ball & Chain hosts shows, from salsa to jazz to mambo, from noon until late into the night. Hannah Hayes, Southern Living, "The South's Best Musical Landmarks," 26 Feb. 2018 One, Orkesta Mendoza, is a Tuscon, Ariz., act that turned from a tribute to Cuban mambo legend Pérez Prado into a fuller-time gig. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top Milwaukee concerts this week: Brockhampton, Bon Iver, Stone Sour, Valerie June and more," 15 Feb. 2018 Un Tabaco Para Elegua’ The vocalist Pepito Gómez has a siren sound that reaches right back into the 1940s, when the punchy pop music known as mambo overtook Cuba. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: Janelle Monáe Feels the Funk, and 13 More New Songs," 23 Feb. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of mambo

1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mambo

American Spanish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mambo

Dictionary Entries near mambo








Statistics for mambo

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mambo

The first known use of mambo was in 1946

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mambo



English Language Learners Definition of mambo

: a lively dance originally from Cuba
: the music for the mambo

More from Merriam-Webster on mambo

Spanish Central: Translation of mambo

Comments on mambo

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!