Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Japanese musical instrument resembling a lute, having a very long neck and three strings played with a plectrum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of three-stringed Japanese fretless lute

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a Japanese stringed instrument resembling a banjo with a long neck and three strings and a fretted fingerboard and a rectangular soundbox; played with a plectrum

Etymologies

Japanese samisen : san, three (from Middle Chinese sam) + mi, taste, touch (from Middle Chinese mujh) + sen, string (from Middle Chinese sianh).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Japanese 三味線 (shamisen). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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