Definition of conga in English:



  • 1A Latin American dance of African origin, usually with several people in a single line, one behind the other.

    • ‘Last week, 65 students danced the conga through the centre of town.’
    • ‘The cadets do a Copacabana-style conga, and the cops do a wicked Irish dance parody - instantly recognizable.’
    • ‘This involves a series of rather complex situations (including the above mentioned conga and also an amazing illuminated bustier).’
    • ‘They end with the him leading a conga around the crowded venue.’
    • ‘There's as much boogie-woogie in its movements as conga and tango.’
    • ‘Inside the Big Swan Stadium, celebrating England fans danced a massive conga through the stands, carrying Japanese children on their shoulders.’
    • ‘We then dance the conga, party until we drop, and wake up in a world of health for all.’
    • ‘Then the band played ‘Road to Amarillo’ and the guests danced the conga through the hotel, and the men played rugby in their kilts at midnight.’
    • ‘At 9.30 am, I find myself dancing the conga with 100 Ghanaian women.’
    • ‘Later they danced the conga and had an erotic dancer on stage.’
    • ‘Made in Manchester, finished in Liverpool - the next thing you know we will be doing a victory conga the length of the East Lancs Road!’
    • ‘I knew it was going to be a long day when I saw three penguins dancing the conga across the main reception hall.’
  • 2A tall, narrow, low-toned drum beaten with the hands.

    • ‘After a quiet intro where the interweaving trombone and sax establish the melancholy theme, the full band of drums, piano, congas, bass clarinet, trombone, and tenor sax aggressively joins in.’
    • ‘The horns front a rhythm section that includes three percussionists armed with congas and bata drums, with no piano or guitar in the middle to mediate.’
    • ‘Armed with trumpets and congas, they keep things up-tempo, but this is an exception to the rule, and melancholy prevails.’
    • ‘These three main patterns are amplified by turtle shells, claves, timbales, bongos, congas, maracas and tambourines.’
    • ‘At the same time - despite omnipresent congas - it isn't terribly exotic, and that's fine as spacing out may not have been the point.’
    • ‘While visiting New York to promote the track they saw a Samba band playing in Central Park - overcome with ‘Latin spirit’ they went out the next day and bought congas, bongos and whistles.’
    • ‘The primary musical instrument is the conga drum.’
    • ‘It's always performed by big bands, with trumpets, trombones and saxophones, sometimes with flutes, and always with Cuban percussion - the congas, bongos and timbales.’
    • ‘Also pleasing to the ear was the harmony between the regular drum kit and the congas.’
    • ‘The beat continued to simmer as the volume was slowly increased with the addition of more guitar and drums, led by a man hitting two congas with a mallet.’
    • ‘You'll be dropped into the midst of a boozed-up street party with trumpets and congas.’
    • ‘The line-up includes two violins, flute, keyboards, bass, timbale, congas and bongos with strong vocals and you'll need to dig out your salsa shoes because this gig is a legendary dance night at the arts centre.’
    • ‘‘Maybe we'll have some congas and bongos, marimba and vibraphones, a bass drum, cow bells - perhaps a Chinese gong,’ she said, thoughtfully.’
    • ‘Vocals, additional keyboards, congas (by someone credited only as Rocky) and the famous lead guitar line were added later.’
    • ‘Their instruments include a full drum set, surdo, or Brazilian bass drum, conga drums, bells and ganzas or shakers.’
    • ‘Her traditional sokay sound comes from the harmonica and a conga drum known as a balah.’
    • ‘Music-wise, it's me with an electric piano, small analog synth, drum machine, and vocoder with the occasional conga or harmonica add-in.’
    • ‘But a couple of months ago, in a Times Square studio, congas were pounding out Afro-Cuban rhythms, dancers in high heels were twirling to fast-paced mambos, and just about everyone in sight was a shade of brown.’
    • ‘The band enters with congas and something of a samba-rock beat.’
    • ‘The first one brings out the congas and growling bass line to underscore Kanamori's string of curses, both at regular speed and drastically slowed down for added queasiness.’


[no object]
  • Dance the conga.

    • ‘There was nowhere to hide, but as they conga'd around the room, most of the audience didn't seem to care.’
    • ‘I have to say there were quite a lot of comments about my dancing as we congaed through the clinic, when I say comments I suppose I mean jokes, apparently the people of Chainda had quite a lot to teach me when it came to shaking my booty!’
    • ‘She was congaing with the kids, trying to get her friends to join in the fun (which they wouldn't do) and she conga'd all over the room with those kids.’
    • ‘The scene where he congas has to be seen to be believed.’
    • ‘The last time I was in Henley on election night was 1992 - I went to conga round the town square, but the presence of policemen rather put me off.’
    • ‘At Middlesex University students intend to conga through afternoon lectures at its Tottenham campus.’
    • ‘He sang to himself as he conga'd his way through the office.’
    • ‘In fact, redundant workers were so happy to leave the backbreaking tedium that they conga'd out of the factory, in spite of the scarcity of other work available in the Midlands.’
    • ‘But if he congas like that, he's going to spill his margarita.’


1930s: from Latin American Spanish, from Spanish, feminine of congo ‘Congolese’.