rum·​ba | \ ˈrəm-bə How to pronounce rumba (audio) , ˈru̇m-, ˈrüm- \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of rumba

: a ballroom dance of Cuban origin in ²/₄ or ⁴/₄ time with a basic pattern of step-close-step and marked by a delayed transfer of weight and pronounced hip movements also : the music for this dance

Examples of rumba in a Sentence

The band played a rumba.
Recent Examples on the Web His music fused African rhythms with jazz, soul, funk, rumba, disco and hip hop, and internationalized the music of Africa while inspiring many other major artists during a career that lasted more than six decades. CBS News, "Lives to remember: People we lost to coronavirus," 4 Apr. 2020 Both are also among pop’s most savvy beat-seekers, finding and combining rhythms old and new — merengue, rumba, cumbia, samba, paseo, rock, disco, hip-house, reggaeton — to keep fans dancing now. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Jennifer Lopez and Shakira Restore Sparkle to Super Bowl Halftime," 2 Feb. 2020 At night, travelers can check out the island’s nightlife and dance to the beats of salsa, merengue, and rumba, and of course try some Blue Curaçao, the island’s famous liqueur that’s used to make cocktails a bright, vibrant blue. Erica Lamberg, USA TODAY, "Spring break spots that are blissfully free of spring breakers, from Barbados to Portland," 14 Jan. 2020 Brown and Bersten earned 21 points out of 30 for last week’s rumba, and ended up with a total of 53 points out of 70. Mary Colurso |, al, "Hannah Brown gets fierce on ‘Dancing with the Stars’," 8 Oct. 2019 Brown got her hips working on a sensuous rumba in round one. Hal Boedeker,, "‘Dancing With the Stars’ delivers emotional semifinals, surprising elimination," 18 Nov. 2019 The wide-ranging writings explore five volumes of music -- albums recorded from 1956 to 1964 in a collection of Cuban music such as big band son montuno, Afro-Cuban rumba, mambo, cha-cha-chá and country acoustic guajira music. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Grammy Watch: Meet The Best Album Notes Nominees Who Bested J.Lo, Among Other Pop Stars," 26 Nov. 2019 When Inaba gave a few sharp pointers to Brown during rehearsals for the rumba, Brown began to cry. Mary Colurso |, al, "Emotions run high as Hannah Brown makes finals on ‘DWTS’," 19 Nov. 2019 As Ghidini and Louisy performed their sinuous rumba, another pair of men began dancing in the opposite corner of the room. Britt Peterson, Washington Post, "Can a waltz be a form of activism? Ask these same-gender ballroom dancers.," 8 July 2019

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

1912, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rumba

American Spanish

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Time Traveler for rumba

Time Traveler

The first known use of rumba was in 1912

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Statistics for rumba

Last Updated

16 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rumba.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce rumba (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rumba

: a type of dance originally from Cuba in which dancers move their hips a lot
: the music for a rumba

More from Merriam-Webster on rumba

Spanish Central: Translation of rumba Encyclopedia article about rumba

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