noun \vī-ˈō-lə, vē-; ˈvī-ə-\

Definition of VIOLA

:  violet 1a; especially :  any of various garden hybrids with solitary white, yellow, or purple often variegated flowers resembling but smaller than typical pansies

Origin of VIOLA

Middle English, from Latin
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Seed Plant Terms

aubergine, box, bramble, briar, composite, perpetual, pulse, trefoil


noun \vē-ˈō-lə\

Definition of VIOLA

:  a musical instrument of the violin family that is intermediate in size and compass between the violin and cello and is tuned a fifth below the violin
vi·o·list \-list\ noun

Origin of VIOLA

Italian & Spanish, viol, viola, from Old Occitan, viol
First Known Use: circa 1724

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Stringed instrument, the tenor member of the violin family. In appearance it is almost identical to the violin but slightly larger; its strings are tuned a fifth lower. It is a member of many chamber music ensembles, and the modern orchestra uses 6 to 10 violas. Its tone is darker, warmer, and less powerful than the violin's, and it is rarely employed as a solo instrument. The viola d'amore is an 18th-century instrument with six or seven melody strings, under which are strung several sympathetic strings that resonate in concord with the sounded pitches.


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