celesta

noun
ce·​les·​ta | \ sə-ˈle-stə How to pronounce celesta (audio) , chə- \
variants: or celeste \ sə-​ˈlest How to pronounce celesta (audio) , chə-​ \

Definition of celesta

: a keyboard instrument with hammers that strike steel plates producing a tone similar to that of a glockenspiel

Examples of celesta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The opera leans heavily on this orchestra’s storied opulent strings, as well as on its characterful winds and brasses, and precision at a large battery of percussion instruments (including a celesta, used frequently, in a cliché of dreaminess). New York Times, 20 Mar. 2022 Where the Velvets’ original got its druggy cool from John Cale’s celesta arpeggios and Sterling Morrison’s undulating bass, Stipe sings serenely over long, sustained notes, shimmering synths, and Willner’s strings. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 22 Sep. 2021 In Berio’s passages, eerie, atmospheric effects from the celesta and violins, noodlings and trills in the winds and thorny rhythmic interplay figure prominently. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 16 Apr. 2021 The ending, gently caressed by winds, horn and strings, with tinkling celesta, was magical. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 10 Oct. 2020 The Sugarplum Fairy, here called Sugar Rum Cherry, dances to a slow, cheeky, boom-chicka-boom number, decidedly naughtier than Tchaikovsky’s tinkling melody for the celesta. New York Times, 16 Dec. 2019 The notes were few, as a large orchestra thinned to the tinkle of harp, mandolin and celesta littering soft, ethereal drones in the select strings and winds. Mark Swed, latimes.com, 6 Apr. 2018 They were joined by violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, cellist Julie Albers, and pianist Roman Rabinovich, who also played celesta. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, 30 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'celesta.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of celesta

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for celesta

French célesta, alteration of céleste, literally, heavenly, from Latin caelestis

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best musical instruments for kids.

Learn More About celesta

Time Traveler for celesta

Time Traveler

The first known use of celesta was in 1896

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near celesta

celery yellows

celesta

celestial

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for celesta

Cite this Entry

“Celesta.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celesta. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on celesta

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about celesta

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!