[ruhm-buh, roo m-, room-]

noun, plural rhum·bas [ruhm-buh z, roo m-, room-] /ˈrʌm bəz, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum-/, verb (used without object), rhum·baed [ruhm-buh d, roo m-, room-] /ˈrʌm bəd, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum-/, rhum·ba·ing [ruhm-buh-ing, roo m-, room-] /ˈrʌm bə ɪŋ, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum-/.


or rhum·ba

[ruhm-buh, roo m-, room-]

noun, plural rum·bas [ruhm-buh z, roo m-, room-] /ˈrʌm bəz, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum-/.

a dance, Cuban in origin and complex in rhythm.
an imitation or adaptation of this dance in the U.S.
music for this dance or in its rhythm.

verb (used without object), rum·baed [ruhm-buh d, roo m-, room-] /ˈrʌm bəd, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum-/, rum·ba·ing [ruhm-buh-ing, roo m-, room-] /ˈrʌm bə ɪŋ, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum-/.

to dance the rumba.

Origin of rumba

Borrowed into English from American Spanish around 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for rhumba

disco, waltz, rock, samba, tango, tap, skip, jump, shimmy, trip, caper, jig, leap, hop, frolic, sway, cavort, hustle, whirl, strut

Examples from the Web for rhumba

Historical Examples of rhumba

  • Everybody had joined the first couple in the rhumba, making the scene more hilarious by not having any clothes on at all.


    Richard F. Mann

British Dictionary definitions for rhumba


noun plural -bas

a variant spelling of rumba




a rhythmic and syncopated Cuban dance in duple time
a ballroom dance derived from this
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance

Word Origin for rumba

C20: from Spanish: lavish display, of uncertain origin
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 rhumba



1919, from Cuban Spanish rumba, originally "spree, carousal," derived from Spanish rumbo "spree, party," earlier "ostentation, pomp, leadership," perhaps originally "the course of a ship," from rombo "rhombus," in reference to the compass, which is marked with a rhombus. The verb is recorded from 1932. Related: Rumbaed; rumbaing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper