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A martial art of Brazilian origin that is based around a rhythmic, dancelike movement.
[Brazilian Portuguese, perhaps from capoeira, cultivated field that has reverted to forest or scrubland (perhaps in reference to the origins of the martial art in gatherings held by slaves and poor rural communities), from Tupí kopu̯era (influenced by Tupí kaa, scrubland) : ko, clearing, agricultural field cleared in a forest : pu̯era, that once was.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Martial Arts (other than Judo & Karate) & Combat Sports) a movement discipline combining martial art and dance, which originated among African slaves in 19th-century Brazil
2. (Dancing) a movement discipline combining martial art and dance, which originated among African slaves in 19th-century Brazil
[C20: from Portuguese]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014