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    • ‘Although the milonga has something of the air of the genteel, there is nothing outdated about this timeless dance, judging by the recent interest shown in it.’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.’
    • ‘In the Strictly Dance Fever final, Danny and Jodie from Liverpool made it into second place dancing the Milonga.’
    • ‘Traditional European dances were mixed with the habanera, a popular dance from Cuba, to form a new style, the milonga.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music written for or in the style of the milonga.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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."’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The milonga is not a place where women ask men to dance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At La Catedral, a milonga with an indie atmosphere in the district of Almagro, the crowd is younger and the atmosphere relaxed.’
      • ‘In an upstairs dance hall called El Beso (the Kiss), tonight's milonga is heating up.’
      • ‘"Some are really hot," said Roberto, a 53-year-old regular at Sunday's milonga in Hallandale Cultural Community Centre.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On Sunday they're scheduled to teach tango at the Pearl Studios before appearing as part of a milonga at the Alvin Ailey Center.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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.