Definition of Carioca in US English:



  • 1A native of Rio de Janeiro.

    • ‘Elsewhere, athletic ‘cariocas’ (natives of Rio) play endless games of beach-volleyball, using all parts of their bodies to keep the ball from slamming into the powdery sand.’
    • ‘Its roughly 7 million people call themselves cariocas and have an argot all their own.’
    • ‘Not that I'm comparing myself to such a grand personage, but there is in Brazilians, especially the cariocas, a great thirst for exotic phenomena which are linked to ‘outside’ mythologies.’
    • ‘The first of these, Missoni, has chosen a look somewhere between hippy and carioca which features a never-before-seen fake fur needlepoint fabric.’
    • ‘You're familiar with that, you know how Orson Welles upon arriving in Rio excited the local cultured, worldly cariocas [inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, trans].’
    • ‘If I dress in casual but clean and well-maintained clothes, appropriate to the local middle class, with ‘normal’, close cropped hair, I'm hardly noticed in a carioca crowd.’
    • ‘One is a nordestino or a mineiro (native of the state of Minas Gerais) or a carioca (native of the city of Rio de Janeiro).’
    • ‘This carioca (someone born in Rio de Janeiro) guy really represents the best we have in Brazil.’
    • ‘Many cariocas, as the residents of Rio de Janeiro are called, make a point of getting out of town long before things get started.’
  • 2A Brazilian dance resembling the samba.

    • ‘Repeat shuffle, then carioca, starting with your left foot this time.’
    • ‘Already being picked up by DJ’s with a taste for the exotic, Kuduro looks set to follow the path of Brazilian funk carioca and reggaeton, emerging from the ghettos of Angola into the dance music mainstream.’


Mid 19th century: from Portuguese, from Tupi kari'oka ‘house of the white man’.