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 Orishas, samba and majestic melanin took center stage against the backdrop of carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Cori Murray, Essence, "The Afro-Brazilian Actors In This Series Deserve Your Attention," 1 July 2020 Fuelled by caipirinhas and samba music, and glittering with sequins, partygoers are projected to spend $630m in Rio; a rival carnival in São Paulo will generate another $460m. The Economist, "Daily chart Carnival in Brazil lifts the national mood," 22 Feb. 2020 After seeing her dad perform his samba routine with his Dancing with the Stars partner Emma Slater last Monday, Annabel, 5½, couldn’t wait to learn the routine herself. Georgia Slater,, "James Van Der Beek Teaches 5-Year-Old Daughter His DWTS Samba Routine in Adorable Video," 9 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, James Van Der Beek donned an unnatural amount of beads for his samba with Emma Slater while managing to keep his hat on his head. Carmel Carrillo,, "'DWTS’ recap: Sean Spicer less robotic this week, and another contestant sails away," 22 Oct. 2019 But Keith Richards convinced him to beef up the production with Brazilian samba sounds. cleveland, "100 greatest songs of the 1960s by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers," 4 Mar. 2020 Join professional, costumed dancers in a samba to the beat of Brazilian band Os Hoosierinhos while big screens display celebrations in Rio de Janeiro. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Here's where to find Mardi Gras 2020 parties, king cake, gumbo and more in Indianapolis," 17 Feb. 2020 Rio can’t boast those attributes, but has the exuberance of samba and Carnival, plus dramatic postcard views of beaches and verdant mountains. Washington Post, "Brazil’s major cities lock horns for F1 race after 2020," 14 Nov. 2019 Bands huddled in a circle that sing, tap on tambourines and bang drums to the rhythm of samba. Luis Andres Henao,, "Amazon fruits and fish abound at Brazil’s colorful Ver-o-Peso market," 22 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for samba

Time Traveler

The first known use of samba was in 1885

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Statistics for samba

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Samba.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for samba


How to pronounce samba (audio) How to pronounce samba (audio)

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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