plural maxixes mə-ˈshē-shəz How to pronounce maxixe (audio)
: a ballroom dance of Brazilian origin that resembles the two-step

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The maxixe was in vogue for only a few decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but its influence has lived on in the still-popular samba. Born out of the marriage of Afro-Brazilian and European dance, maxixe is sometimes described as Africanized polka. Both Brazilian music and the tunes of Tin Pan Alley accompanied the dancers of the maxixe, which was brighter and snappier than the also then-popular Argentine tango. The maxixe in some ways put Brazil on the dancing map. As Sanjoy Roy put it in a July 7, 2006 article in The Guardian, "The maxixe was one of Brazil's first musical exports, spawning brief crazes in Paris in 1914, and London in 1922."

Word History


Brazilian Portuguese

First Known Use

1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of maxixe was in 1909


Dictionary Entries Near maxixe

Cite this Entry

“Maxixe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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