noun \ˌvī-ə-ˈlin\

: a musical instrument that has four strings and that you usually hold against your shoulder under your chin and play with a bow

Full Definition of VIOLIN

:  a bowed stringed instrument having four strings tuned at intervals of a fifth and a usual range from G below middle C upward for more than 412 octaves and having a shallow body, shoulders at right angles to the neck, a fingerboard without frets, and a curved bridge
vi·o·lin·ist \-ist\ noun
vi·o·lin·ist·ic \-ə-lə-ˈnis-tik\ adjective

Illustration of VIOLIN

Origin of VIOLIN

Italian violino, diminutive of viola
First Known Use: circa 1576


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Bowed stringed instrument. The violin is the highest-pitched member of a family of instruments that includes the viola, cello, and double bass. It has a fretless fingerboard, four strings, and a distinctively shaped wooden body whose “waist” permits freedom of bowing. The violin is held on the shoulder and bowed with the right hand. It has a wide range of more than four octaves. It evolved in Italy in the 16th century from the medieval fiddle and other instruments. Its average proportions were settled by the 17th century, but innovations in the 18th–19th centuries increased its tonal power. With its brilliance, agility, and singing tone, the violin has been immensely important in Western art music, and it has the largest and most distinguished repertoire of any stringed instrument. From the mid-17th century it has been the foundation of the symphony orchestra, which today usually includes 20–26 violins, and it is also widely used in chamber music and as a solo instrument. It is played as a folk instrument in many countries, folk violins being often called fiddles.


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