[ mahm-boh ]

noun,plural mam·bos.
  1. a fast ballroom dance of Caribbean origin, rhythmically similar to the rumba and cha-cha but having a more complex pattern of steps.

verb (used without object)
  1. to dance the mambo.

Origin of mambo

First recorded in 1935–40; from Caribbean Spanish (Cuba), from Haitian Creole manbo “ritual dance; Vodou priestess”; perhaps from Kongo màmbu, plural of diàmbu “ritual negotiation, message”

Words Nearby mambo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mambo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mambo


/ (ˈmæmbəʊ) /

nounplural -bos
  1. a modern Latin American dance, resembling the rumba, derived from the ritual dance of voodoo

  2. a voodoo priestess

verb-bos, -boing or -boed
  1. (intr) to perform this dance

Origin of mambo

American Spanish, probably from Haitian Creole: voodoo priestess

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