[flah-meng-koh, fluh-]

noun, plural fla·men·cos.

a style of dancing, characteristic of the Andalusian Gypsies, that is strongly rhythmic and involves vigorous actions, as clapping the hands and stamping the feet.
a style of instrumental or vocal music originating in southern Spain and typically of an intensely rhythmic, improvisatory character, performed by itself or as an accompaniment to flamenco dancing.


Also fla·men·can. of or like the music and dances of the Andalusian Gypsies: flamenco rhythms.

Origin of flamenco

1895–1900; < Spanish: pertaining to the Andalusian Gypsies, literally, Fleming; the sense shift is variously explained
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flamenco

Contemporary Examples of flamenco

  • So they, like flamenco, are part of a tradition invulnerable to trembling before life at its most decidedly bittersweet.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Pictorial Ode to Michelle

    Stanley Crouch

    December 4, 2009

Historical Examples of flamenco

  • Perico, Naos, and Flamenco, three little islands lying in front of Panama.

  • If you go to Granada, you can visit a gypsy cave and the gypsies will dance for you to a kind of music which is called "flamenco."

  • Nobody knows where the flamenco came from, but some say it is as old as the Phoenicians, and some say—even older.

  • In Spain, music is divided to-day into the major divisions, Classical and Flamenco.

  • Presently one of the flamenco women quits her chair, and begins to strike extraordinary postures.

    The Story of Seville

    Walter M. Gallichan

British Dictionary definitions for flamenco


noun plural -cos

a type of dance music for vocal soloist and guitar, characterized by elaborate melody and sad mood
the dance performed to such music

Word Origin for flamenco

from Spanish: like a gipsy, literally: Fleming, from Middle Dutch Vlaminc Fleming
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 flamenco

1896, from Spanish flamenco, first used of Gypsy dancing in Andalusia. The word means "Fleming, native of Flanders" (Dutch Vlaming) and also "flamingo."

Speculation are varied and colorful about the connection between the bird, the people, and the gypsy dance of Andalusia. Spain ruled Flanders for many years, and King Carlos I brought with him to Madrid an entire Flemish court. One etymology suggests the dance was so called from the bright costumes and energetic movements, which the Spanish associated with Flanders; another is that Spaniards, especially Andalusians, like to name things by their opposites, and because the Flemish were tall and blond and the gypsies short and dark, the gypsies were called "Flemish;" others hold that flamenco was the general Spanish word for all foreigners, gypsies included; or that Flemish noblemen, bored with court life, took to partying with the gypsies.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper