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

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 Guests also enjoyed a variety of samba, soul, bossa nova, and afro-international rhythms performed by Samba Soul. Sue Strachan,, "Building an Empire at Newcomb Art Museum opening," 26 Apr. 2018 For a second consecutive Brazil game, this was far from stellar samba football, but at this stage winning is all that matters and the general consensus was that Brazil merited the three points, though not everyone agreed., "Twitter Reacts as Brazil Spare Their Blushes Against Costa Rica After VAR Controversy," 22 June 2018 Our fiction ranges from Florida to Ghana, from Ireland to the samba joints of 1930s Brazil. John Timpane,, "A summer made of stories: Great books for warmer days," 2 June 2018 Crowds of soccer fans jumped for joy next to men dressed as samba dancers and sweet-15 princesses. Washington Post, "Mexican soccer fans and pride marchers mingle in celebration," 23 June 2018 This year’s theme is inspired by the African diaspora in Brazil, so expect to hear a few samba beats. Don’t have a mask? Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Police violence paintings, a gallery's 25th and enduring images of a photojournalist's life," 21 June 2018 Meanwhile, the new offerings at BlueCross RiverRink Summerfest include a series of Latin Nights, when a free dance class and a night of samba is scheduled to take over the roller-skating rink. Grace Dickinson,, "Spruce Street Harbor Park and Delaware River waterfront are hosting over 500 free events this summer," 9 May 2018 The festival, which takes place from noon to 10 p.m. on June 23, will be showcasing Brazilian ethnic food, folk dance, capoeira, quadrilha Junina, samba school parade, and performances of renowned Brazilian musicians. Staff Report,, "Brazilian Folks Festival returns to Pompano," 11 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





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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

See words that rhyme with samba

Spanish Central: Translation of samba Encyclopedia article about samba

Comments on samba

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