sam·​ba | \ ˈsam-bə , ˈsäm- \

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

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 With a general election due in October, many legislators are scared to back a measure that provokes samba scorn. The Economist, "Parading towards disasterMichel Temer is trying to fix Brazil’s pension systems," 15 Feb. 2018 After 10 minutes and a quick samba, Trentini washes her face and pats it down with a clean, white towel. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Watch This Brazilian Supermodel’s DIY Beauty Recipes for Sun, Surf, and Sand," 17 July 2018 His innate timing and keen sense of rhythm artfully complement choreographer Sergio Trujillo's smooth samba steps. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'On Your Feet!': Theater Review," 12 July 2018 But government ownership is as much a part of Brazil’s culture as samba and soccer. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "Banks, a Food Wholesaler—Even a Condom Factory: Brazil’s Government Is Big Business," 11 Dec. 2018 Paul IrvineDehoucheHe’s planned exclusive workshops with a local fashion designer, cooking classes with chef Felipe Bronze of Oro, art tours, jaguar tracking, and samba dancing lessons. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Ostapenko said samba, a lively dance with a lot of rhythm, is her favorite. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "The Dancer Who Could Win Wimbledon," 10 July 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

29 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for samba

The first known use of samba was in 1885

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More Definitions for samba



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

Comments on samba

What made you want to look up samba? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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