Definition of mambo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmämbō/

noun (plural mambos)

1A Latin American dance similar in rhythm to the rumba.
Example sentences
  • For the mambo, cha-cha, merengue, and the traditional rhythmic dance the son, each dancer moved vigorously yet effortlessly, even as the tempo changed.
  • Along the way, she sees some musicians playing while the neighbourhood churns with the mambos and rumbas she learned from her parents.
  • But while dancing the mambo in a fruit headdress, this art history major secretly desired to emulate Elsie de Wolfe, the influential society decorator.
2A voodoo priestess.
Example sentences
  • These gods are not only expected to protect people, but they are also expected to accord special favors through their representatives on earth which are the mambos.
  • Two autobiographical carvings depict his belief that a mambo had cursed him by placing snakes in his belly.
  • She returned in 1936, having passed rigorous initiation rites to become a mambo.

verb (mamboes, mamboing, mamboed)

[no object]
Dance the mambo.
Example sentences
  • But this didn't stop her from moving to the beat of the driving conga drums as my brother taught us to mambo in our living room.
  • You'll laugh and mambo with the locals in Havana, Cuba.
  • You may find yourself mamboing around your living room before you know it.


1940s: from American Spanish, probably from Haitian Creole, from Yoruba, literally 'to talk'.

Words that rhyme with mambo

ambo, flambeau, Rambo, Rimbaud, Tambo

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mam·bo

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