from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of a family of stringed instruments, chiefly of the 16th and 17th centuries, having a fretted fingerboard, usually six strings, and a flat back and played with a curved bow.
- n. See viola da gamba.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A viola da gamba, a family of musical instruments that preceded the violin and viola and similar string instruments
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A stringed musical instrument formerly in use, of the same form as the violin, but larger, and having six strings, to be struck with a bow, and the neck furnished with frets for stopping the strings.
- n. A large rope sometimes used in weighing anchor.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musical instrument with strings, essentially not greatly different from the lute and the guitar, except that the strings are sounded by means of a bow drawn across them, not by plucking them with the fingers.
- n. A large rope formerly used in purchasing an anchor: same as messenger
- n. An obsolete form of vial.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of a family of bowed stringed instruments that preceded the violin family
Alteration of Middle English viel, from Old French viole, vielle, from Old Provençal viola; see viola1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)