Definition of conga in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkäNGɡə/ /ˈkɑŋɡə/

See synonyms for conga on

Translate conga into Spanish


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

    ‘Inside the Big Swan Stadium, celebrating England fans danced a massive conga through the stands, carrying Japanese children on their shoulders.’
    • ‘At 9.30 am, I find myself dancing the conga with 100 Ghanaian women.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I knew it was going to be a long day when I saw three penguins dancing the conga across the main reception hall.’
    • ‘We then dance the conga, party until we drop, and wake up in a world of health for all.’
    • ‘The cadets do a Copacabana-style conga, and the cops do a wicked Irish dance parody - instantly recognizable.’
    • ‘They end with the him leading a conga around the crowded venue.’
    • ‘This involves a series of rather complex situations (including the above mentioned conga and also an amazing illuminated bustier).’
    • ‘There's as much boogie-woogie in its movements as conga and tango.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Last week, 65 students danced the conga through the centre of town.’
    • ‘Later they danced the conga and had an erotic dancer on stage.’
  • 2

    (also conga drum)
    A tall, narrow, low-toned drum beaten with the hands.

    ‘The primary musical instrument is the conga drum.’
    • ‘Her traditional sokay sound comes from the harmonica and a conga drum known as a balah.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These three main patterns are amplified by turtle shells, claves, timbales, bongos, congas, maracas and tambourines.’
    • ‘‘Maybe we'll have some congas and bongos, marimba and vibraphones, a bass drum, cow bells - perhaps a Chinese gong,’ she said, thoughtfully.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their instruments include a full drum set, surdo, or Brazilian bass drum, conga drums, bells and ganzas or shakers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Music-wise, it's me with an electric piano, small analog synth, drum machine, and vocoder with the occasional conga or harmonica add-in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Also pleasing to the ear was the harmony between the regular drum kit and the 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.’
    • ‘Armed with trumpets and congas, they keep things up-tempo, but this is an exception to the rule, and melancholy prevails.’
    • ‘You'll be dropped into the midst of a boozed-up street party with trumpets and congas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The band enters with congas and something of a samba-rock beat.’
    • ‘Vocals, additional keyboards, congas (by someone credited only as Rocky) and the famous lead guitar line were added later.’
    • ‘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 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.’

intransitive verbcongas, congaing, congaed, conga'd

[no object]
  • Dance the conga.

    ‘I caught her around the waist and conga'd’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was nowhere to hide, but as they conga'd around the room, most of the audience didn't seem to care.’
    • ‘The scene where he congas has to be seen to be believed.’


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