noun, plural fan·dan·gos.

a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time, performed by a man and woman playing castanets.
a piece of music for such a dance or one having its rhythm.
(especially in the southwest U.S.) a ball or dance.

Origin of fandango

From Spanish, dating back to 1740–50, of uncertain origin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fandango

Historical Examples of fandango

  • The band has had a fandango with your people and lost some men.

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • How fortunate that he had discovered her secret at this time; just before the fandango.

  • She had heard the Methodists were having a fandango down in the valley.

    The Transformation of Job

    Frederick Vining Fisher

  • After it was finished, and the table removed, a fandango was begun.

  • After a pause of a few seconds, the people rose, and the fandango went on as before.

    The Town

    Leigh Hunt

British Dictionary definitions for fandango


noun plural -gos

an old Spanish courtship dance in triple time between a couple who dance closely and provocatively
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance

Word Origin for fandango

C18: from Spanish, of uncertain 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

Word Origin and History for fandango

mid-18c., lively Spanish dance, the word of unknown etymology [OED says "alleged to be of negro origin"], perhaps related to fado. Fado is lovely, but not lively, so perhaps the link, if any, is thematic. But the late date argues against it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper