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

  • n. A stringed instrument played with a bow, having four strings tuned at intervals of a fifth, an unfretted fingerboard, and a shallower body than the viol and capable of great flexibility in range, tone, and dynamics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A musical four-string instrument, generally played with a bow or by plucking the string. Pitch is set by pressing the strings at the appropriate place with the fingers.
  • n. A violinist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small instrument with four strings, played with a bow; a fiddle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The modern form of the smaller medieval viola da braccio.
  • n. A player on the violin; a violinist: as, the first violin of an orchestra.
  • n. An emetic substance contained in all parts of the sweet-scented violet, Viola odorata. It has not been obtained pure, and is perhaps identical with emetin from ipecacuanha.

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

  • n. bowed stringed instrument that is the highest member of the violin family; this instrument has four strings and a hollow body and an unfretted fingerboard and is played with a bow


Italian violino, diminutive of viola, viola; see viola1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian violino, diminutive form of viola with diminutive suffix -ino (Wiktionary)



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  • Interesting backstory about Nero's fiddling while Rome burned is on kithara.

    November 3, 2008