Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[sam-buh, sahm-] /ˈsæm bə, ˈsɑm-/
noun, plural sambas.
a rhythmic, Brazilian ballroom dance of African origin.
verb (used without object), sambaed, sambaing.
to dance the samba.
1880-85; < Portuguese samba, alleged to be of African orig. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for samba
  • Ian watched stone-faced, and waited until the samba subsided.
  • He has been credited with creating a unique blend of traditional samba and hip-hop.
  • If you're there in the weeks leading up to the festivities, watch some samba rehearsals.
  • His interim successor is best remembered abroad, fairly or not, for groping a samba dancer.
  • All the while, a samba soundtrack plays a relentlessly happy beat.
  • Bandas are samba musical bands, usually formed by enthusiasts in the same neighborhood.
British Dictionary definitions for samba


noun (pl) -bas
a lively modern ballroom dance from Brazil in bouncy duple time
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
verb -bas, -baing, -baed
(intransitive) to perform such a dance
Word Origin
Portuguese, of African 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for samba

Brazilian dance of African origin, 1885, Zemba, from Portuguese samba, shortened form of zambacueca, a type of dance, probably altered (by influence of zamacueco "stupid") from zambapalo, the name of a grotesque dance, itself an alteration of zampapalo "stupid man," from zamparse "to bump, crash." As a verb from 1949.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
samba in Technology
A free suite of programs which implement the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
Originally developed for Unix by Andrew Tridgell at the Australian National University, the Samba server allows files and printers on the host operating system to be shared with clients such as Windows for Workgroups, DOS, OS/2, Windows NT and others.
For example, instead of using telnet to log in to a Unix machine to edit a file there, a Windows 95 user might connect a drive in the Windows Explorer to a Samba server on the Unix machine and edit the file in a Windows editor.
A Unix client called smbclient, built from the same source code, allows ftp-like access to SMB resources.
Samba is available for many Unix variants, OS/2, and VMS. Porting to Novell Netware is in progress (August 1996).
smblib is a portable generic library for making SMB calls for implementing client/server functions from within any program. Linux implements a complete file system (based on smbclient) so by default Linux users have full access to resources on LAN Server, Windows NT and LAN Manager networks.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for samba


Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for samba

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for samba

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for samba