[lahm-bah-duh, ‐dah]
noun, plural lam·ba·das.
  1. a Brazilian ballroom dance for couples, with gyrating movements and close interlocking of the partners.
  2. music for this dance.

Origin of lambada

1985–90; < Brazilian Portuguese; Portuguese: a whipping, equivalent to lamb(ar) to whip, lash + -ada -ade1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for lambada


  1. an erotic dance, originating in Brazil, performed by two people who hold each other closely and gyrate their hips in synchronized movements
  2. the music that accompanies the lambada, combining salsa, calypso, and reggae

Word Origin for lambada

C20: from Portuguese, literally: the snapping of a whip
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 lambada

"sensual Brazilian dance," 1988, from Portuguese, said in some sources to be literally "a beating, a lashing." But others connect it ultimately to Latin lumbus "loin."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper