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tan·​go ˈtaŋ-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce tango (audio)
plural tangos
: a ballroom dance of Latin American origin in ²/₄ time with a basic pattern of step-step-step-step-close and characterized by long pauses and stylized body positions
also : the music for this dance
: interaction marked by a lack of straightforwardness
the suspect's tango with police


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tangoed; tangoing; tangos

intransitive verb

: to dance the tango


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communications code word

used as a code word for the letter t

Examples of tango in a Sentence

Noun The band played a tango. Verb He's trying to learn how to tango.
Recent Examples on the Web
The political tango is ongoing, but Rouhani is undeniably pushing back against the IRGC’s penetration of state institutions. Alex Vatanka, Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2017 But diplomacy takes two to tango, or, in this case, three. Editorial Board, Washington Post, 17 June 2024
Up until this week, Trump had tangoed through troubles with little more than a scratch. Philip Elliott, TIME, 31 May 2024 Joe Directed by Steven Caple Jr., Transformers: Rise of the Beasts saw the Autobots tangoing with the Maximals to stop the world-devouring Unicron (Colman Domingo) from destroying Earth in the 1990s. Nick Romano, EW.com, 30 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for tango 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tango.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



American Spanish

First Known Use


1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1913, in the meaning defined above

Communications Code Word

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tango was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near tango

Cite this Entry

“Tango.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tango. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural tangos
: a ballroom dance of Latin-American origin to music in ²⁄₄ time and marked by pauses between steps and a variety of body postures
also : the music for a tango
tango verb

More from Merriam-Webster on tango

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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