mam·​bo ˈmäm-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce mambo (audio)
plural mambos
: a ballroom dance of Cuban origin that resembles the rumba and the cha-cha
also : the music for this dance
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 The charming ensemble, led by singer Catalina García and musician Santiago Prieto, has always blended a sound that’s eclectic, sweet, and a little twee, with flashes of old-school swing, Latin jazz, and mambo. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 3 Nov. 2023 This corporate mambo sauce has a serious cayenne pepper kick. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 The sweet and spicy jam sauce, similar to a pepper jelly, and the barbecue-style mambo sauce are a pair of spicy new creations inspired by regional flavors. Erin Clements, Peoplemag, 10 Oct. 2023 Typically mambo or mumbo sauce, historically beloved by Black communities in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, tastes a bit like barbecue sauce, only sweeter and spicier. Sam Stone, Bon Appétit, 29 Sep. 2023 The new sweet and spicy jam sauce and mambo sauce are two spicy condiments inspired by regional flavors. Lizzy Rosenberg, Peoplemag, 26 Sep. 2023 Earning the nickname the King of Latin Music, the multi-hyphenate musician put Caribbean styles — including mambo, salsa, boogaloo, cha-cha-cha, rumba, guaracha and Afro-Cuban jazz — on the global map. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 20 Apr. 2023 Lesson learned: Don’t force mambo sauce into unfamiliar territory. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2023 When he first was hired, the station’s programming consisted of old trios and guitar groups, romantic balladists from Spain and South America and the old mambo and cha-cha-cha orquestras. Roy Trakin, Variety, 12 Apr. 2023

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

Word History


American Spanish

First Known Use

1946, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mambo was in 1946

Dictionary Entries Near mambo

Cite this Entry

“Mambo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mam·​bo ˈmäm-bō How to pronounce mambo (audio)
plural mambos
: a dance of Haitian origin related to the rumba
mambo verb

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