Definition of samba in English:


Line breaks: samba
Pronunciation: /ˈsambə


  • 1A Brazilian dance of African origin: a woman danced the samba carrying a pitcher of lemonade
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    • 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: folk tunes from the north of Brazil, or sambas from the south
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    • 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.
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    • 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 /-bə(r)ɪŋ/, sambaed /-bəd/ or samba'd)

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  • Dance the samba: how do you kill five hours in Rio if you don’t samba?
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    • 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.

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