[ muh-reng-gey ]
/ məˈrɛŋ geɪ /


a ballroom dance of Dominican and Haitian origin, characterized by a stiff-legged, limping step.
the music for this dance.

verb (used without object), me·ren·gued, me·ren·gu·ing.

to dance the merengue.

Nearby words

  1. mere,
  2. meredith,
  3. meredith, george,
  4. meredith, owen,
  5. merely,
  6. mereology,
  7. meres,
  8. merese,
  9. merestone,
  10. meretricious

Also méringue.

Origin of merengue

Borrowed into English from American Spanish around 1935–40 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for merengue


/ (məˈrɛŋɡeɪ) /


a type of lively dance music originating in the Dominican Republic, which combines African and Spanish elements
a Caribbean dance in duple time with syncopated rhythm performed to such music

Word Origin for merengue

from American Spanish and Haitian Creole

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 merengue



popular dance, 1936, from Dominican Creole méringue, from French méringue (see meringue).

The Spanish word for this style of dance and music, merengue, literally means "meringue (the sweet dessert)" -- although it is unclear exactly how the dance might have come to be called "The Meringue." ["Spanish Word Histories and Mysteries," American Heritage Dictionaries, 2007]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper