Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A slow Cuban dance.
  • n. The music for this dance, in duple time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A style of music from Cuba.
  • n. A dance performed to this music.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A slow Spanish dance in triple rhythm; also, the music for such a dance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. music composed in duple time for dancing the habanera
  • n. a Cuban dance in duple time

Etymologies

Spanish (danza) habanera, (dance) of Havana, feminine of habanero; see habanero.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Spanish (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Featuring classical music, Cuban habanera dance music, pop, jazz and tango.

    What's on Around Europe

  • Scott Joplin and W.C. Handy, among other composers of early jazz, worked with a new sort of syncopation that drew, somewhat, on the rhythm of the habanera, a Cuban dance music that became fashionable enough in 19th-century Europe that it provided the lilting bass line for the famous aria in Bizet 's Carmen.

    When Cuba Invaded America

  • The most fertile Cuban musical form turned out to be the habanera, a lilting dance form that evolved out of the old French Contre-danse in the years following the Haitian revolution.

    The Haitian-Born Rhythm Revolution

  • If you look at the left hand on a piece of sheet music for a habanera, it's there.

    The Haitian-Born Rhythm Revolution

  • By the time Bizet used it in the signature aria of "Carmen" in 1875, the habanera had become shorthand for Spanish music.

    The Haitian-Born Rhythm Revolution

  • And we hear in the left hand this habanera type of rhythm, which he said was essential to New Orleans music, this Spanish feeling.

    Marcus Roberts: 'Playing The History Of Jazz'

  • In the 19th century, the homegrown habanera was the sound of the Spanish Americas.

    Modiba: Cuban Musicians Help Thaw US-Cuba Relations

  • My husband likes a little catsup in his coctel de camron. .also with extra habanera!

    I'd rather eat glass than....

  • She'd mix habanera sauce and lemonade and drink it until her esophagus spasmed.

    When Alone

  • One of the most potent chiles in all of Mexico hails from the Yucatan: the habanera an innocent-looking fellow a couple of inches in diameter at most.

    Mérida

Comments

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  • From a novel set (mostly) in Buenos Aires in 1913-1920:, this is a flashback to, probably late 19th century:

    in Buenos Aires . . . music rapped and hummed on every corner . . . payadas, sung by pairs of country men who knew the life of gauchos and horses and lassos and dirt, who battled each other through song, . . .; habaneras, sparked by sailors freshly arrived from Cuba . . .; milongas, those fast joyful songs that could fill a filthy alley with dancers more quickly than honey could draw flies; and candombe, the music of black people whose ancestors had come in ships from Africa, shackled, enslaved, and who now lived among the immigrants, . . . with the most incredible music, . . . music played on drums built with cast-off barrels, whose rhythms interlocked to form a tight vast sound. There was no melody. In Europe it would have been called noise. But candombe had a potency that hit him in his belly, and in depths he hadn't known about.
    Carolina de Robertis, The Gods of Tango (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), pp. 115-16

    September 4, 2016