American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Music A pear-shaped, two-stringed or three-stringed medieval instrument, played with a bow.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musical instrument, the earliest known form of viol class. It had a pear-shaped body, which was solid above, terminating in a slender neck and a carved head, and hollow below, with sound-holes and a sound post. The number of strings was usually three, but was sometimes only one or two. They were tuned in fifths, and sounded by a bow. The tone was harsh and loud. The rebec is known to have been in use in Europe as early as the eighth century. Its origin is disputed, but is usually attributed to the Moors of Spain. It was the precursor of the true viol in all its forms, and continued in vulgar use long after the latter was artistically established.
- n. An old woman: so called in contempt. Compare ribibe, 2.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) An instrument formerly used which somewhat resembled the violin, having three strings, and being played with a bow.
- n. obsolete A contemptuous term applied to an old woman.
- From Middle French rebec, alteration of rubebe. (Wiktionary)
- French, from Old French, alteration (influenced by bec, beak, from its shape) of rebebe, from Old Provençal rebeb, from Arabic rabāb, from rabba, to be master, control; see rbb in Semitic roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“For instance, a viola da gamba is sort of cello, and a rebec is a kind of violin.”
“The oldest type of this instrument in use appears to have been the form known as the rebec, the Arab form, which came into Europe in the time of the crusades.”
“Arab form of it, known as the rebec, is represented on p. 113, Fig. 23.”
“Urania is represented by the armillary sphere, Euterpe by flutes, Thalia by the rebec, Melpomene by the hunting horn, Terpsichore by the cittern, Erato by the jingle ring, and Polyhymnia by the organ.”
“Partially obscured behind a cabinet door, the rebec and its bow represent the muse Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry).”
“He marveled over the rebec that he set in the hands of some lady of the land, drank in the musical notes of her ballad, and in the twilight by the gothic arch above the hearth he told his love in a gloom so deep that he could not read his answer in her eyes.”
“The girls are playing appropriate instruments of the period, such as the viola da gamba, cittern, dulcimer, rebec, clarion, viola d'amore and virginal, but their brand of beauty is strictly 20th century.”
“She spoke loudly, and as if conjured by sorcery, a group of musicians emerged from the crowd, carrying instruments, took up positions in front of Catherine, bowed to her, and set to without delay, on the rebec, harp, and drum.”
“I must get him to try his hand on rebec or organetto, and see what he can do.”
“The flutes and panpipes were easily carried; rebec and mandora had their own padded bags for protection, though the bow of the rebec had to be packed with care.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘rebec’.
Please contribute your favorite words from any of Gene Wolfe’s books to this prize-winning list.
In case you come across words in this list which are too commonplace to fit in, please ...
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
A list of words whose meanings I am learning, either because a) I don't know the meaning b) I know the meaning, but could stand to better appreciate certain inflections or secondary meanings or c) ...
Words I've come across while reading and looked up in the dictionary.
what happens when a book has been translated from the italian and cognates have been used for the latinate words.
string instruments and instrumentation
Looking for tweets for rebec.