sam·​ba | \ ˈsam-bə How to pronounce samba (audio) , ˈsäm- How to pronounce samba (audio) \

Definition of samba

: a Brazilian dance of African origin with a basic pattern of step-close-step-close and characterized by a dip and spring upward at each beat of the music also : the music for this dance

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Other Words from samba

samba intransitive verb

Examples of samba in a Sentence

The band played a samba.

Recent Examples on the Web

Mr Gilberto was a star of bossa nova, a musical style that fuses jazz and samba. The Economist, "Politics this week," 13 July 2019 The week-long samba party draws millions to Rio each February. Sarah Esther Maslin, 1843, "Rio is a riot in the early hours," 4 July 2019 Nineteen acts from the Boston area and around the country will sing, rap, and samba on two stages in Franklin Park at the Boston Art & Music Soul Festival . Nora Mcgreevy,, "At BAMS Festival, the stage is set for an array of local voices," 19 June 2019 How about a touch of samba to kick off June in style? Courtney E. Smith,, "New Music To Know This Week: Tei Shi Goes Back To Her Roots, Bleached Have Retro Jams & More," 7 June 2019 The prevailing beat of Salvador's annual carnaval, which draws nearly one million people, is called samba-reggae, a musical genre sometimes played by ensembles with upwards of 100 drummers. Stephanie Foden, National Geographic, "This Brazilian region is an African treasure on the other side of the Atlantic," 18 Mar. 2019 Still boasting the likes of Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Bebeto to name but a few, the samba giants weren't short on stars, but their perceived over-reliance on the Golden Ball winner eventually took its toll., "World Cup Countdown: 5 Weeks to Go - France Claim Maiden World Cup on Home Soil With Win Over Brazil," 19 May 2018 There’s a salty breeze dropping live rhythms of samba-rock on a snaking ribbon of humans. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 But make no mistake, that usually captivating bunch once known for a samba-style soccer and a dizzying array of diagonal runs, heel passes and bicycle kicks, looked nothing more than basic for all but the final minutes of a second straight match. Matthew Futterman And Victor Mather, New York Times, "Brazil Gets Its First Win, a Triumph of Grit More Than Style," 23 June 2018

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

1885, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for samba


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Dictionary Entries near samba



Sama Veda





Statistics for samba

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for samba

The first known use of samba was in 1885

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English Language Learners Definition of samba

: a lively Brazilian dance also : the music for this dance

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More from Merriam-Webster on samba

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with samba

Spanish Central: Translation of samba Encyclopedia article about samba

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