Definition of fado in US English:


nounPlural fados

  • 1A type of popular Portuguese song, usually with a melancholy theme and accompanied by mandolins or guitars.

    • ‘We have heard fado, the Portuguese soul music, compared with football, on the grounds that it contains both excitement and sadness - although you could say the same about, say, DIY and be not much the wiser.’
    • ‘A third of the melodies on Nas Mãos do Fado are drawn from the body of over 200 traditional fados which artists such as Katia regularly update by combining them with the words of Portuguese poets.’
    • ‘Stand outside one for long enough, and you'll hear the proprietor break into a fado, the equivalent of an Irish folk song.’
    • ‘In case you don't know what that means, fado is to Portugal what flamenco is to Spain - the musical expression of a nation's soul - and is sometimes dubbed ‘the blues of Portugal’.’
    • ‘The fado is a melancholy type of song from Portugal.’
    • ‘On this CD, Lafertin may lead a Grappelli-Reinhardt style band, but the music ranges from Brazilian sambas to Portuguese fados.’
    • ‘As they quickly let you know, they eat bread, not chapattis; drink in tavernas, not tea shops; many of them were Roman Catholic, not Hindu; and their musicians played guitars and sang fados.’
    • ‘At one point, Amalia states that the Portuguese invented fado as a way to express their eternal sorrow.’
    1. 1.1 The music for a fado.
      • ‘Performers of fado (which, roughly translated, means ‘fate’) are known as fadistas.’
      • ‘They often have fairly anonymous facades but are the haunt of local Portuguese and are closer to the true popular spirit of fado.’
      • ‘Her mother cooked in a restaurant in Alfama where fado was sung and like many other fado-singers she grew up with it.’
      • ‘Portuguese artist Ana Sofia Varela is only 25 but is already one of the hottest stars of fado.’
      • ‘The quote comes from a lecture in which he tackles the saudade, or deep longing, that infuses fado with its bitter sweetness.’
      • ‘Exploring fado, the Portuguese folk-music style that has won her fans worldwide, the singer gives over an hour and half to her appreciative audience on this exotic and highly enjoyable release.’
      • ‘‘I also like Afro-Cuban rhythms, and I just discovered the Portuguese fado,’ she said.’
      • ‘She sings fado classics, original tunes, and experiments with flamenco influences, blending it all in a fresh approach that pushes fado further, without breaking its conventions.’
      • ‘She doesn't so much break down the boundaries of fado as stretch and shape them into a new and enchanting hybrid that remains essentially true to the roots of the genre.’
      • ‘I'm going to come and sing/wail some fado into each and every house member's ear until they like it, or say that they understand why the Portuguese love it so.’
      • ‘You can hear everything from traditional folk, Portuguese fado, jazz, industrial noise and classical through to what they describe as ‘electronic oddities’.’
      • ‘Although Transparente was recorded in Brazil, its 14 gem-like songs remain true to the deepest traditions of fado, the breathtakingly lyrical and melancholic music of Portugal.’
      • ‘The Casa da Musica will be opened in the coming week with jazz and fado, Brendel and Lou Reed.’
      • ‘Nostalgia for the past and for the homeland is represented in the sentiments of Sebastianismo and saudade and in the lyrics of the fado.’
      • ‘Record companies are far more interested in fado than they were in the past, but comparisons with Mariza are now inevitable, especially if you happen to be called Misia.’
      • ‘Nelly Furtado's second album employs a variety of styles, including hip-hop, fado, pop, R&B, dance and Latin music.’
      • ‘Scolari, though, is determined to delay for as long as possible the fado, a blues lament that wafts out from the bars and restaurants of old Lisbon.’
      • ‘While fado purists often maintain that you can only do fado with Portuguese guitar, Spanish guitar and bass, there's a long tradition of major stars like Amália Rodrigues and Carlos do Carmo flouting this convention with aplomb.’
      • ‘Although best known for fado, Amalia liked to experiment with other kinds of music, including jazz and salsa, and continued performing after her 70th birthday.’
      • ‘Experiencing fado, a musical genre unique to Portugal, is a sure way to immerse in culture.’


Portuguese, literally ‘fate’.