Definition of conga in English:



  • 1A Latin American dance of African origin, usually with several people in a single line, one behind the other.

    • ‘The cadets do a Copacabana-style conga, and the cops do a wicked Irish dance parody - instantly recognizable.’
    • ‘They end with the him leading a conga around the crowded venue.’
    • ‘Made in Manchester, finished in Liverpool - the next thing you know we will be doing a victory conga the length of the East Lancs Road!’
    • ‘At 9.30 am, I find myself dancing the conga with 100 Ghanaian women.’
    • ‘Later they danced the conga and had an erotic dancer on stage.’
    • ‘There's as much boogie-woogie in its movements as conga and tango.’
    • ‘We then dance the conga, party until we drop, and wake up in a world of health for all.’
    • ‘Then the band played ‘Road to Amarillo’ and the guests danced the conga through the hotel, and the men played rugby in their kilts at midnight.’
    • ‘This involves a series of rather complex situations (including the above mentioned conga and also an amazing illuminated bustier).’
    • ‘Inside the Big Swan Stadium, celebrating England fans danced a massive conga through the stands, carrying Japanese children on their shoulders.’
    • ‘I knew it was going to be a long day when I saw three penguins dancing the conga across the main reception hall.’
    • ‘Last week, 65 students danced the conga through the centre of town.’
  • 2A tall, narrow, low-toned drum beaten with the hands.

    • ‘Armed with trumpets and congas, they keep things up-tempo, but this is an exception to the rule, and melancholy prevails.’
    • ‘Vocals, additional keyboards, congas (by someone credited only as Rocky) and the famous lead guitar line were added later.’
    • ‘Her traditional sokay sound comes from the harmonica and a conga drum known as a balah.’
    • ‘After a quiet intro where the interweaving trombone and sax establish the melancholy theme, the full band of drums, piano, congas, bass clarinet, trombone, and tenor sax aggressively joins in.’
    • ‘But a couple of months ago, in a Times Square studio, congas were pounding out Afro-Cuban rhythms, dancers in high heels were twirling to fast-paced mambos, and just about everyone in sight was a shade of brown.’
    • ‘The primary musical instrument is the conga drum.’
    • ‘These three main patterns are amplified by turtle shells, claves, timbales, bongos, congas, maracas and tambourines.’
    • ‘The first one brings out the congas and growling bass line to underscore Kanamori's string of curses, both at regular speed and drastically slowed down for added queasiness.’
    • ‘‘Maybe we'll have some congas and bongos, marimba and vibraphones, a bass drum, cow bells - perhaps a Chinese gong,’ she said, thoughtfully.’
    • ‘While visiting New York to promote the track they saw a Samba band playing in Central Park - overcome with ‘Latin spirit’ they went out the next day and bought congas, bongos and whistles.’
    • ‘Music-wise, it's me with an electric piano, small analog synth, drum machine, and vocoder with the occasional conga or harmonica add-in.’
    • ‘Also pleasing to the ear was the harmony between the regular drum kit and the congas.’
    • ‘At the same time - despite omnipresent congas - it isn't terribly exotic, and that's fine as spacing out may not have been the point.’
    • ‘The beat continued to simmer as the volume was slowly increased with the addition of more guitar and drums, led by a man hitting two congas with a mallet.’
    • ‘It's always performed by big bands, with trumpets, trombones and saxophones, sometimes with flutes, and always with Cuban percussion - the congas, bongos and timbales.’
    • ‘The horns front a rhythm section that includes three percussionists armed with congas and bata drums, with no piano or guitar in the middle to mediate.’
    • ‘The line-up includes two violins, flute, keyboards, bass, timbale, congas and bongos with strong vocals and you'll need to dig out your salsa shoes because this gig is a legendary dance night at the arts centre.’
    • ‘The band enters with congas and something of a samba-rock beat.’
    • ‘You'll be dropped into the midst of a boozed-up street party with trumpets and congas.’
    • ‘Their instruments include a full drum set, surdo, or Brazilian bass drum, conga drums, bells and ganzas or shakers.’


  • Perform the conga.

    ‘I caught her round the waist and conga'd’
    • ‘He sang to himself as he conga'd his way through the office.’
    • ‘But if he congas like that, he's going to spill his margarita.’
    • ‘At Middlesex University students intend to conga through afternoon lectures at its Tottenham campus.’
    • ‘I have to say there were quite a lot of comments about my dancing as we congaed through the clinic, when I say comments I suppose I mean jokes, apparently the people of Chainda had quite a lot to teach me when it came to shaking my booty!’
    • ‘The last time I was in Henley on election night was 1992 - I went to conga round the town square, but the presence of policemen rather put me off.’
    • ‘She was congaing with the kids, trying to get her friends to join in the fun (which they wouldn't do) and she conga'd all over the room with those kids.’


1930s: from Latin American Spanish, from Spanish, feminine of congo Congolese.