There are 2 main definitions of tango in English:

Share this entry

tango 1

Syllabification: tan·go
Pronunciation: /ˈtaNGɡō/

noun (plural tangos)

1A ballroom dance originating in Buenos Aires, characterized by marked rhythms and postures and abrupt pauses.
Example sentences
  • The Argentine tango originated in Buenos Aires at the turn of the last century.
  • His main recreation remains ballroom dancing - tango, cha cha and waltz being his specialities.
  • Women dance flamenco and tango and belly dancing.
1.1A piece of music written for or in the style of the tango, typically in a slow dotted duple rhythm.
Example sentences
  • I also like to skate to classical music, tangos and Arabian music.
  • There is always a tension in his music between the expressionist angst of contemporary classical music and the tango tradition.
  • He caps them with the theme rewritten as a polka/waltz, a tango, a czardas, in ragtime, and ‘in the style of film music.’
2A code word representing the letter T, used in voice communication by radio.
Example sentences
  • It is very easy to be confused between the letters B and P, M and N etc. when speaking over the radio or telephone for example ‘TOM’ you would pronounce this as:- Tango Oscar Mike.
  • Our echo-tango-alpha is thirty minutes.
  • Golf Romeo Tango, turn left thirty degrees for identification.

verb (tangoes, tangoing, tangoed)

[no object] Back to top  
Dance the tango.
Example sentences
  • They've spun, tangoed, waltzed, rumbaed, salsaed, funked, jazzed, hip-hopped and twirled their little hearts out and now they're sashaying off into the sunset in an hour-long final.
  • The dinner at the club is usually followed by a night of dancing, and at these galas, he is famous for tangoing and fox-trotting with every man's wife until the band packs up and calls it quits.
  • ‘I had this marine here,’ I indicated the crumpled form of the marine, ‘want to tango with me, so we tangoed.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from Latin American Spanish, perhaps of African origin.

More
  • In Latin tango means ‘I touch’, which would seem to be an appropriate origin for the sensual South American dance the tango, but the word has quite a different origin. It is from Latin American Spanish, and is perhaps ultimately of African origin. It takes two to tango has become a modern-day proverb meaning ‘both parties involved in a situation are equally responsible for it’. It started life as the title of a song written in 1952 by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning.

Phrases

it takes two to tango

1
informal Both parties involved in a situation or argument are responsible for it.
Example sentences
  • One doctor answered me, it takes two to tango so you cannot take the responsibility alone.
  • We endorse comments by both business associations that we have to find a way to have legislation which will have a wider impact than purely partisan values - but it takes two to tango.
  • ‘The company is bending over backwards to try to make this work because it is a very important initiative but it takes two to tango,’ he added.

Words that rhyme with tango

charango, Durango, fandango, mango, Okavango, quango, Sango

Definition of tango in:

Share this entry

 

There are 2 main definitions of tango in English:

Share this entry

tango 2 Line breaks: tango
Pronunciation: /ˈtaŋɡəʊ/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun

[mass noun] British informal , dated
An orange-yellow colour.

Origin

Early 20th century: abbreviation of tangerine, influenced by tango1.

More
  • In Latin tango means ‘I touch’, which would seem to be an appropriate origin for the sensual South American dance the tango, but the word has quite a different origin. It is from Latin American Spanish, and is perhaps ultimately of African origin. It takes two to tango has become a modern-day proverb meaning ‘both parties involved in a situation are equally responsible for it’. It started life as the title of a song written in 1952 by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning.

Definition of tango in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
adjective
not harmful or offensive