Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A juggling apparatus consisting of a spool which is whirled and tossed on a string attached to handsticks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old game or sport (revived under this name) consisting in whirling on a string, fastened to two sticks, a small somewhat spool-shaped object (called the diabolo) so as to balance it on a string, toss it in the air and catch it, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The game of the devil on two sticks. See devil.

Etymologies

Ancient Greek διάβολος (diabolos, "devil"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "Higher," they pleaded, until the clown launched the prop, known as a diabolo, again, about 50 feet high this time, towards the lofty, ornate glass and stone ceilings of the Ben Franklin Memorial hall.

    Phillies Zone

  • It's known as chakchouka in Morocco and the Middle East, uovo diabolo in Italy, oeufs en cocotte in France, piperade in Basque, egg curry in India.

    Ellen Kanner: Meatless Monday: Cracking the Egg Label Code

  • A small factory shot through with windows flings out a red diabolo each minute–streetcars.

    Joaquin Pasos

  • Quarum animas lucrari debent Deo, sacrificant diabolo.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Non pauci se cruciant, et excarnificant in tantum, ut non parum absint ab insania; neque tamen aliud hac mentis anxietate efficiunt, quam ut diabolo potestatem faciant ipsos per desperationem ad infernos producendi.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • A busker singing on the street corner; students handing out flyers for discount meals or designer clothing sales; a juggler with a diabolo shooting up and down a string suspended between two sticks, flinging it impossibly high into the air and catching it in one smooth gesture; a guy selling watches and beads out of a suitcase.

    Sepulchre

  • I enjoyed a diabolo violette this afternoon at La Salon Prune while my family bickered over immigration issues.

    nebet Diary Entry

  • The pleasure to be derived from diabolo is undoubtedly one of these.

    Within a Budding Grove

  • We were joined by Octave who had no hesitation in telling Andrée the number of strokes he had gone round in, the day before, at golf, then by Albertine, counting her diabolo as she walked along, like a nun telling her beads.

    Within a Budding Grove

  • Quixote, "Remember that you stand excommunicated for having laid violent hands on a holy thing, juxta illud, si quis, suadente diabolo."

    Don Quixote

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  • "One morning, not long after Andreé had told me that she would be obliged to stay beside her mother, I was taking a short stroll with Albertine, whom I had found on the beach tossing up and catching again at the end of a string a weird object which gave her a look of Giotto's 'Idolatry'; it was called, as it happened, a 'diabolo,' and has so fallen into disuse now that, when they come upon the picture of a girl playing with one, the commentators of future generations will solemnly discuss, as it might be in front of the allegorical figures in the Arena Chapel, what it is that she is holding."

    -- Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, p 637 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    May 7, 2008