Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[tang-goh] /ˈtæŋ goʊ/
noun, plural tangos.
a ballroom dance of Latin-American origin, danced by couples, and having many varied steps, figures, and poses.
music for this dance.
a word used in communications to represent the letter T.
verb (used without object), tangoed, tangoing.
to dance the tango.
Origin of tango
1910-15; < American Spanish < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tango
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It isn't a Bunny Hug or tango, or anything distracting for lookers-on.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • I was saying that Prue is too fine a girl to be allowed to mingle with that tango set.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • The following Sunday three of the Carthage preachers attacked the tango.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • The tango was upon the world like a Mississippi at flood-time.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • In the towns smaller than Carthage the anxiety for the tango fermented.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for tango


noun (pl) -gos
a Latin American dance in duple time, characterized by long gliding steps and sudden pauses
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
verb -goes, -going, -goed
(intransitive) to perform this dance
Derived Forms
tangoist, noun
Word Origin
C20: from American Spanish, probably of Niger-Congo origin; compare Ibibio tamgu to dance


(communications) a code word for the letter t
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 tango

syncopated ballroom dance, 1913, from Argentine Spanish tango, originally the name of an African-American drum dance, probably from a Niger-Congo language (cf. Ibibio tamgu "to dance"). Phrase it takes two to tango was a song title from 1952.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
tango in Culture

tango definition

A sensual ballroom dance that originated in South America in the early twentieth century.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for tango


Related Terms

it takes two to tango

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for tango

Difficulty index for tango

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tango

Scrabble Words With Friends