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[fuh-vel-uh; Portuguese fah-ve-lah] /fəˈvɛl ə; Portuguese fɑˈvɛ lɑ/
a shantytown in or near a city, especially in Brazil; slum area.
1945-50; < Brazilian Portuguese: alleged to be a name given to a hill in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, where such towns were built circa 1900; literally, a shrub of the family Euphorbiaceae, derivative of Portuguese fava bean < Latin faba Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for favelas
  • Most of the killing happens in fights between or within drug gangs or in police raids on favelas.
  • It would also be useful in solving some internal problems as well, such as curbing violence in favelas.
  • Nothing in the new law will suddenly equip them to disarm the teenage armies in the favelas.
  • It was built to prevent the spread out of favelas on hills and in areas that are susceptible to landslide or forested areas.
British Dictionary definitions for favelas


(in Brazil) a shanty or shantytown
Word Origin
C20: from Portuguese
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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