Definition of bossa nova in English:

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bossa nova

Pronunciation: /ˈbäsə ˈnōvə/ Pronunciation: /ˈbô-/


1A style of Brazilian music derived from samba but placing more emphasis on melody and less on percussion.
Example sentences
  • From swing, acid jazz and bossa nova to hip hop and jazz rock, the music sometimes has a 1940s sound, while at other times it seems extremely modern.
  • No imported musical form - except perhaps reggae - has permeated US music as deeply as bossa nova.
  • Among them is the gentle bossa nova of the title track, which essentially lifts the feel of Pet Sounds closer ‘Caroline No’.
1.1A dance to this music.
Example sentences
  • Dance as if your middle name was dude or diva: try the bossa nova and don't be afraid of shimmying.


1960s: from Portuguese, from bossa 'tendency' and nova (feminine of novo) 'new'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bos·sa no·va

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