from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A stringed instrument, the bass of the viol family, with approximately the range of the cello. Also called bass viol, gamba, viol.
- n. An organ stop of eight-foot pitch yielding tones similar to those of the viola da gamba.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A viol, usually much larger than the violin, played while seated and supported between the legs. The instrument was developed in Europe in the 1400s and used primarily in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. an instrument resembling the viola, but larger, and held between the knees. It is now rarely used.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. viol that is the bass member of the viol family with approximately the range of the cello
Italian : viola, viol + da, of, for + gamba, leg.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian viola da gamba ("viol of leg") (Wiktionary)