[ dah-dah ]
/ ˈdɑ dɑ /

noun (sometimes initial capital letter)

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.

Nearby words

  1. dad-blamed,
  2. dad-blasted,
  3. dad-burned,
  4. dad-gummed,
  5. dad-in-law,
  6. dadah,
  7. dadd,
  8. daddah,
  9. daddy,
  10. daddy longlegs

Origin of dada

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

Related formsda·da·ism, nounda·da·ist, nounda·da·is·tic, adjectiveda·da·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dada

British Dictionary definitions for dada


Dadaism (ˈdɑːdɑːˌɪzəm)

/ (ˈdɑːdɑː) /


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
Derived FormsDadaist, noun, adjectiveDadaistic, adjectiveDadaistically, adverb

Word Origin for Dada

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

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 dada


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper