• synonyms


or rhum·ba

[ ruhm-buh, roo m-, room- ]
/ ˈrʌm bə, ˈrʊm-, ˈrum- /

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.

Nearby words

rum., rumaki, rumal, rumania, rumanian, rumba, rumble, rumble seat, rumble strip, rumbling, rumblingly

Origin of rumba

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

Examples from the Web for rumba

  • Henry's teeth already were chattering like the gourds in a rumba band.

    Henry Horn's X-Ray Eye Glasses|Dwight V. Swain

British Dictionary definitions for rumba



/ (ˈrʌmbə, ˈrʊm-) /


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 rumba



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