[fuh-vel-uh; Portuguese fah-ve-lah]


a shantytown in or near a city, especially in Brazil; slum area.

Origin of favela

1945–50; < Brazilian Portuguese: alleged to be a name given to a hill in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, where such towns were built circa 1900; literally, a shrub of the family Euphorbiaceae, derivative of Portuguese fava bean < Latin faba
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for favela

ghetto, Bowery, tenderloin

Examples from the Web for favela

Contemporary Examples of favela

Historical Examples of favela

  • The high school kids who broke it were Brazilian Linux hackers who lived in a favela -- a kind of squatter's slum.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for favela



(in Brazil) a shanty or shantytown

Word Origin for favela

C20: from Portuguese
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