Definition of bossa nova in US English:

bossa nova


  • 1A style of Brazilian music derived from samba but placing more emphasis on melody and less on percussion.

    • ‘No imported musical form - except perhaps reggae - has permeated US music as deeply as bossa nova.’
    • ‘While the rest of us were immersing ourselves in Cuban music and salsa, Peterson was looking to Brazil and the sounds of samba and bossa nova.’
    • ‘We've had our Latin love affair with Cuban music and our bossa nova bonanza with the sounds of Brazil.’
    • ‘This new voice of Brazil's Sao Paolo combines bossa nova and samba sounds of the Fifties and Sixties with modern electronics, and she was nominated for best newcomer in the 2004 BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music.’
    • ‘She carries the tradition of cool sophistication that bossa nova has cultivated since its inception with that same understated collection of rhythms beneath rich jazz chords and supple melodies.’
    • ‘The initial musical spark was built around a mixture of highly incongruous styles, including medieval folk, bossa nova, soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz.’
    • ‘‘Through Time’ is another highlight with its airy bossa nova feel, the subdued and spacious production complementing Murphy's voice at is rich and sultry peak.’
    • ‘He became enthralled with South American music in general, and Brazilian music in particular, and he and Stan Getz started the worldwide bossa nova craze with the aforementioned Jazz Samba album in 1962.’
    • ‘Most of the songs are self-penned but there's also a cover of the bossa nova standard Bananeira.’
    • ‘From there I got into the style itself and discovered more bossa nova music, and it was as simple as that.’
    • ‘It was true that he needed a hobby and had a mild interest in bossa nova music, but he wasn't sure if he was ready to commit to being a serious student.’
    • ‘Interestingly enough, the bossa nova and the dance/electronic genres have been enjoying quite a good marriage over the last decade.’
    • ‘Among them is the gentle bossa nova of the title track, which essentially lifts the feel of Pet Sounds closer ‘Caroline No’.’
    • ‘From swing, acid jazz and bossa nova to hip hop and jazz rock, the music sometimes has a 1940s sound, while at other times it seems extremely modern.’
    • ‘It sounds as if he's been listening to more bossa nova - subtle acoustic guitar rhythms are all over this record.’
    • ‘Their cover of Astrud Gilberto's ‘Corcovado,’ edited nicely by Ben Watt himself, maintains the sentiment of the original without attempting to overshoot the bossa nova mood.’
    • ‘Most of the bossa nova recordings made during this time were rushed and these tracks display this.’
    • ‘We built a new capital, Brasilia; we believed in a new architecture; we had a new music, bossa nova.’
    • ‘Brazilian chanteuse Cibelle's debut is wonderfully off the map, taking the samba and bossa nova sounds into new territories.’
    • ‘The very lo-fi album features eleven songs of cheery boy/girl harmonies, doo-wop melodies, and even a few bossa nova grooves.’
    1. 1.1 A dance to this music.
      • ‘Dance as if your middle name was dude or diva: try the bossa nova and don't be afraid of shimmying.’


1960s: from Portuguese, from bossa ‘tendency’ and nova (feminine of novo) ‘new’.


bossa nova

/ˈbäsə ˈnōvə/