Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[sam-buh, sahm-] /ˈsæm bə, ˈsɑm-/
noun, plural sambas.
a rhythmic, Brazilian ballroom dance of African origin.
verb (used without object), sambaed, sambaing.
to dance the samba.
Origin of samba
First recorded in 1880-85, samba is from the Portuguese word samba, alleged to be of African orig. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for samba
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This task he reserved for himself and Barney, with the assistance of Mboyo and samba.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • samba lang tung pagkaigúa, It was pure luck that you hit it.

  • samba was even more light-hearted than usual when he left the fort with his comrades.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • samba had but to stretch out his hand to make prisoners of what he chose.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • He remembered his half promise that samba should be allowed to go scouting that night.

    Samba Herbert Strang
British Dictionary definitions for samba


noun (pl) -bas
a lively modern ballroom dance from Brazil in bouncy duple time
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
verb -bas, -baing, -baed
(intransitive) to perform such a dance
Word Origin
Portuguese, of African origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for samba

Brazilian dance of African origin, 1885, Zemba, from Portuguese samba, shortened form of zambacueca, a type of dance, probably altered (by influence of zamacueco "stupid") from zambapalo, the name of a grotesque dance, itself an alteration of zampapalo "stupid man," from zamparse "to bump, crash." As a verb from 1949.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for samba

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for samba

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for samba