Etymology
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hula (n.)

traditional dance of Hawaii, 1825, from Hawaiian. As a verb from 1952. Hula hoop first recorded in fall of 1958, when it was a craze; so called from resemblance of motions of one using it to the dancers' hip circles.

updated on September 09, 2015

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Definitions of hula from WordNet

hula (n.)
a Polynesian rain dance performed by a woman;
Synonyms: hula-hula / Hawaiian dancing
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.