Also found in: Wikipedia.
A shantytown or slum, especially in Brazil.
[Brazilian Portuguese, after the Morro da Favela, a ramshackle housing area constructed on a hill in Rio de Janeiro in 1897 by impoverished soldiers returning from the suppression of a separatist movement in northeast Brazil, after the Morro da Favela, literally, "hill of the favela," a hill in northeast Brazil fortified by the soldiers during the conflict, from favela, the Brazilian shrub Cnidoscolus quercifolius of the spurge family bearing seeds resembling fava beans, from diminutive of Portuguese fava, fava bean, from Latin faba; see bha-bhā in Indo-European roots.]
(in Brazil) a shanty or shantytown
[C20: from Portuguese]
n., pl. -las.
a shantytown in or near a city in Brazil.
[1945–50; < Brazilian Portuguese]
A Portuguese word meaning shantytown, used especially in Brazil.