Definition of hula in US English:


(also hula-hula)


  • A dance performed by Hawaiian women, characterized by six basic steps, undulating hips, and gestures symbolizing or imitating natural phenomena or historical or mythological subjects.

    • ‘A special CD and a four-hour hula extravaganza held this month will benefit the party's activities.’
    • ‘A brief featurette that looks at animating the hula dancing, an important part of Hawaiian culture.’
    • ‘Join in the revelry with the six-man entertainment group as they perform hula dances to the tune of Hawaiian guitars and songs.’
    • ‘Many of today's performers have had more formal dance training than their predecessors, embellishing the old bump-and-grind with samba, tap, belly dancing, jazz, hula, even capoeira.’
    • ‘We dragged all our instruments and equipment off, while a hula dancing first grader walked on.’
    • ‘No Hawaiian hulas or Tahitian chants here, though traditional cultural elements and echoes of local folk styles do inform these supremely mellow numbers.’
    • ‘No way was Clara getting to that beacon, I don't care if she danced the hula all the way!’
    • ‘Singing, drumming, and the hula dance are sacred forms of worship and remain integral to the daily life of some native Hawaiians.’
    • ‘Some of these dance forms, such as flamenco and hula are almost as known and loved by local audiences as are the Western dances of ballet and tap.’
    • ‘The band's program, which also included hula dances, was typical of the entertainment of the day.’
    • ‘They used to say that every nice girl should be able to dance hula.’
    • ‘Trivialized for decades by mass-market tourism, Hawaiian culture - from classic hula dancing to outrigger canoe racing - is being embraced enthusiastically.’
    • ‘Learning hula steps and motions and dancing every day is a great way to keep a body flexible while enjoying Hawaiian music.’
    • ‘While I was researching a short story, I gradually fell in love with the hula (dancing).’
    • ‘At Waimea the women danced a hula, which the sailors found quite lascivious.’
    • ‘You'll learn to strum the ukulele, dance a hula, and weave a bracelet of lauhala.’
    • ‘Master teacher Johnny Lum Ho says, ‘At this level, the hula has to be exciting.’’


Early 19th century: Hawaiian.