Definition of samba in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsambə/
Pronunciation: /ˈsämbə/


1A Brazilian dance of African origin.
Example sentences
  • Dances like the samba, rhumba, cha-cha, and mambo were the sexiest things that white people were allowed to do until the twist came along, and Cugie was always there to fill the bill.
  • Brazilian samba also appears in the global music and dance show, tomorrow from 6.30 pm.
  • A young Brazilian chorus called Crianca Feliz dressed in colorful T-shirts sang and danced a samba inside the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall auditorium, preceded by a trio of singers from Argentina.
1.1A piece of music for the samba.
Example sentences
  • The finale is a blazing samba, with all sorts of cross-rhythms and various textures.
  • Already well-liked for her breezy bossa novas and sambas, Joyce has come to the UK with a tour, a fresh set of songs and a stylish six-piece band.
  • He is an experienced musician with specialist skills in percussion, rhythm, samba, composition and making percussion instruments from different cultures.
1.2A lively modern ballroom dance imitating the samba.
Example sentences
  • They danced to ‘Love Is in the Air,’ backed up by about twenty ballroom dancers in the center and 700 couples around the outside track perimeter, all doing a lively samba.

verb (sambas, sambaing /-bəˌiNG/, sambaed /-bəd/ or samba'd)

[no object]
Dance the samba.
Example sentences
  • He sambas, he shimmies, and he specialises in fast-footwork moves that delight the audience.
  • Men like the late Jim Butler and Seamus Sommers took us first-timers out on the floor to teach us to waltz, do foxtrots, quicksteps and to samba.
  • Everyone's back on stage for the Carnaval Finale, and there'll be plenty of room for the audience to samba and share the festive spirit.


Late 19th century: from Portuguese, of African origin.

Words that rhyme with samba

amber, camber, caramba, clamber, Cochabamba, gamba, mamba, Maramba, timbre

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sam·ba

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