• synonyms


[fuh-vel-uh; Portuguese fah-ve-lah]
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  1. a shantytown in or near a city, especially in Brazil; slum area.
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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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for favela

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. (in Brazil) a shanty or shantytown
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Word Origin

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