Definition of hula in English:


(also hula-hula)


  • A dance performed by Hawaiian women, characterized by six basic steps, undulating hips, and gestures symbolizing or imitating natural phenomena or historical or mythological subjects.

    • ‘No Hawaiian hulas or Tahitian chants here, though traditional cultural elements and echoes of local folk styles do inform these supremely mellow numbers.’
    • ‘Learning hula steps and motions and dancing every day is a great way to keep a body flexible while enjoying Hawaiian music.’
    • ‘A brief featurette that looks at animating the hula dancing, an important part of Hawaiian culture.’
    • ‘You'll learn to strum the ukulele, dance a hula, and weave a bracelet of lauhala.’
    • ‘A special CD and a four-hour hula extravaganza held this month will benefit the party's activities.’
    • ‘Master teacher Johnny Lum Ho says, ‘At this level, the hula has to be exciting.’’
    • ‘While I was researching a short story, I gradually fell in love with the hula (dancing).’
    • ‘At Waimea the women danced a hula, which the sailors found quite lascivious.’
    • ‘Many of today's performers have had more formal dance training than their predecessors, embellishing the old bump-and-grind with samba, tap, belly dancing, jazz, hula, even capoeira.’
    • ‘No way was Clara getting to that beacon, I don't care if she danced the hula all the way!’
    • ‘We dragged all our instruments and equipment off, while a hula dancing first grader walked on.’
    • ‘Trivialized for decades by mass-market tourism, Hawaiian culture - from classic hula dancing to outrigger canoe racing - is being embraced enthusiastically.’
    • ‘The band's program, which also included hula dances, was typical of the entertainment of the day.’
    • ‘Singing, drumming, and the hula dance are sacred forms of worship and remain integral to the daily life of some native Hawaiians.’
    • ‘They used to say that every nice girl should be able to dance hula.’
    • ‘Join in the revelry with the six-man entertainment group as they perform hula dances to the tune of Hawaiian guitars and songs.’
    • ‘Some of these dance forms, such as flamenco and hula are almost as known and loved by local audiences as are the Western dances of ballet and tap.’


Early 19th century: Hawaiian.