Definition of milonga in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although the milonga has something of the air of the genteel, there is nothing outdated about this timeless dance, judging by the recent interest shown in it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1A 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. 1.2A place or event at which the milonga is danced.
      ‘there are at least fifteen milongas under way late on any given night’
      • ‘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'.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘"Some are really hot," said Roberto, a 53-year-old regular at Sunday's milonga in Hallandale Cultural Community Centre.’
      • ‘In an upstairs dance hall called El Beso (the Kiss), tonight's milonga is heating up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On Sunday they're scheduled to teach tango at the Pearl Studios before appearing as part of a milonga at the Alvin Ailey Center.’
      • ‘The milonga is not a place where women ask men to dance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At La Catedral, a milonga with an indie atmosphere in the district of Almagro, the crowd is younger and the atmosphere relaxed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Late on Wednesday night they appeared as part of a milonga at the Lafayette Grill on Franklin Street in TriBeCa.’


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.