Definition of milonga in English:



  • 1An Argentinian ballroom dance, the forerunner of the tango.

    • ‘If women do the leg flicks and kicks in a confined milonga, there is a distinct risk of others on the dance floor being speared by a flying stiletto.’
    • ‘Although the milonga has something of the air of the genteel, there is nothing outdated about this timeless dance, judging by the recent interest shown in it.’
    • ‘His talk surveyed the Kongo-derived underpinnings of tango, including candombe("strikes with blackness"), tangana("walk that walk"), payada (cowboy rap songs), and the funky milonga.’
    • ‘Traditional European dances were mixed with the habanera, a popular dance from Cuba, to form a new style, the milonga.’
    • ‘In the Strictly Dance Fever final, Danny and Jodie from Liverpool made it into second place dancing the Milonga.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music written for or in the style of the milonga.
      • ‘Historians argue as to its exact origins, but most agree that tango borrowed from many influences - the hypnotic rhythms that African slaves beat on their drums (known as tan-go); and the popular music of the pampas, the milonga.’
      • ‘We went to bed, but were kept from sleeping until dawn by the drunken ravings of an unseen neighbor, who intermingled inextricable insults with snatches of milongas - or rather with snatches of the same milonga.’
      • ‘The dance was born in Argentina, via the local milonga and African Candombe rhythms.’
      • ‘The fourth piece of the evening was a milonga (a popular Argentine song) sung by Rosario Guerrero whose vocal range and passionate expression demonstrated why she's called "La Tremendita."’
      • ‘In turn, the milonga mixed with a dance that was performed in the streets by small-time crooks or 'compadritos' and the tango was born.’
    2. 1.2 A place or event at which the milonga is danced.
      ‘there are at least fifteen milongas under way late on any given night’
      • ‘Late on Wednesday night they appeared as part of a milonga at the Lafayette Grill on Franklin Street in TriBeCa.’
      • ‘The Salon Canning is an authentic milonga, a bare hall in the old Palermo district of Buenos Aires where dancers gyrate into the early morning to Argentina's most distinctive musical style, the tango.’
      • ‘If you're misguided enough to think you can do it too, go to to an afternoon milonga - a participatory event where you can take lessons.’
      • ‘"Some are really hot," said Roberto, a 53-year-old regular at Sunday's milonga in Hallandale Cultural Community Centre.’
      • ‘Hit Buenos Aires at 3:00 P.M., 9:00 P.M., or after midnight; somewhere there's a milonga taking place - from teatime lessons in the Confiteria Ideal in the city's downtown to a dark embrace in the small hours at neo-Gothic La Catedral.’
      • ‘If you go along to a milonga looking out to confirm preconceptions, you'll find them, such as the romantic notion that 'tango is a sad feeling danced'.’
      • ‘The milonga is not a place where women ask men to dance.’
      • ‘At La Catedral, a milonga with an indie atmosphere in the district of Almagro, the crowd is younger and the atmosphere relaxed.’
      • ‘He first lived in Rio de Janeiro and then moved to Sao Paulo, where he ran his own dance studio and held a weekly milonga.’
      • ‘We arrange to meet at a Milonga so that I can experience for myself the differences in style and ambience, but first I have another class to attend.’
      • ‘On Sunday they're scheduled to teach tango at the Pearl Studios before appearing as part of a milonga at the Alvin Ailey Center.’
      • ‘In an upstairs dance hall called El Beso (the Kiss), tonight's milonga is heating up.’


South American Spanish, from Brazilian Portuguese milonga, ‘angry or repetitive words, witchcraft’, later referring to a lively dance; probably ultimately from a West African language.