[ dah-dah ]

noun(sometimes initial capital letter)
  1. the style and techniques of a group of artists, writers, etc., of the early 20th century who exploited accidental and incongruous effects in their work and who programmatically challenged established canons of art, thought, morality, etc.

Origin of dada

1915–20; <French: hobby horse, childish reduplication of da giddyap

Other words from dada

  • da·da·ism, noun
  • da·da·ist, noun
  • da·da·is·tic, adjective
  • da·da·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby dada Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dada in a sentence

  • And dada only kissed the weary little faces of the supplicants, and laughed again until the tears ran down his cheeks.

  • And we can't go home without a single nugget to buy presents with, or dada'll be sure to whack us.

  • Not long after Porphyrius and the philosopher had retired to a private room Herse returned with dada.

    Serapis, Complete | Georg Ebers
  • Here, dada—here; take this ring, it has been worn by a woman who once was young and who has had many lovers.

    Serapis, Complete | Georg Ebers
  • She spoke with such earnest conviction that dada remained silent with downcast eyes, and Karnis sat up to think the matter over.

    Serapis, Complete | Georg Ebers

British Dictionary definitions for Dada


Dadaism (ˈdɑːdɑːˌɪzəm)

/ (ˈdɑːdɑː) /

  1. a nihilistic artistic movement of the early 20th century in W Europe and the US, founded on principles of irrationality, incongruity, and irreverence towards accepted aesthetic criteria

Origin of Dada

C20: from French, from a children's word for hobbyhorse, the name being arbitrarily chosen

Derived forms of Dada

  • Dadaist, noun, adjective
  • Dadaistic, adjective
  • Dadaistically, adverb

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