bal·​a·​lai·​ka ˌba-lə-ˈlī-kə How to pronounce balalaika (audio)
: a usually 3-stringed instrument of Russian origin with a triangular body played by plucking or strumming

Illustration of balalaika

Illustration of balalaika

Examples of balalaika in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This alternated with a jangly violin solo strummed like a balalaika by concertmaster Jeff Thayer, interjected with woodwind and trombone laughing music. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 Karokhina will play the balalaika and Smirnov will sing and play the guitar and garmoshka. Courant Community, 25 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'balalaika.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1780, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of balalaika was in 1780

Dictionary Entries Near balalaika

Cite this Entry

“Balalaika.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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