[ hah-buh-nair-uh or, often, -nyair-uh ]

  1. a dance of Cuban origin.

  2. the music for this dance, having a slow duple meter and a rhythm similar to that of a tango.

Origin of habanera

1875–80; <Spanish (danza) habanera (dance) of Havana

Words Nearby habanera

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use habanera in a sentence

  • The habanera went very well by being transposed half a tone higher; but the card-playing scene was another matter.

    Memoirs of an American Prima Donna | Clara Louise Kellogg
  • The Tango is in 2-4, played in moderately slow tempo; its rhythm is also adapted for the habanera.

  • Alvarado dances the habanera with the dancing-girl Chiquita.

  • The lady sang with great spirit, and her rendering of la Paloma and of the habanera from Carmen was simply perfect.

    Cuba Past and Present | Richard Davey
  • He was wakeful and that wretched habanera kept throbbing in his head.

    Five Tales | John Galsworthy

British Dictionary definitions for habanera


/ (ˌhæbəˈnɛərə) /

  1. a slow Cuban dance in duple time

  2. a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance

Origin of habanera

from Spanish danza habanera dance from Havana

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