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noun, plural con·gas.
  1. a Cuban ballroom dance that consists of three steps forward followed by a kick, characteristically performed by a group following a leader in a single line.
  2. the music for this dance.
  3. Also called conga drum. a tall, conical, Afro-Cuban drum played with the hands.
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verb (used without object), con·gaed, con·ga·ing.
  1. to dance a conga.
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Origin of conga

Borrowed into English from Cuban Spanish around 1930–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for conga


  1. a Latin American dance of three steps and a kick to each bar, usually performed by a number of people in single file
  2. Also called: conga drum a large tubular bass drum, used chiefly in Latin American and funk music and played with the hands
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verb -gas, -gaing or -gaed
  1. (intr) to dance the conga
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Word Origin

C20: from American Spanish, feminine of congo belonging to the Congo
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

Word Origin and History for conga


1935, American Spanish, fem. of (danza) Congo "Congo (dance);" so called because it was assumed to be of African origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper