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 ending, gently caressed by winds, horn and strings, with tinkling celesta, was magical. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "A surprising Dallas Symphony program: a chamber-ensemble arrangement of Mahler’s ‘Das Lied von der Erde’," 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, "Visions of Sugar Rum Cherries Tap Dance in Her Head," 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, "Mahler's 'Song of the Earth' and sky and sea, the L.A. Phil way," 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, "ChamberFest Cleveland leaves deep impression with Shostakovich in rare transcription (review)," 30 June 2017

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for celesta

Time Traveler

The first known use of celesta was in 1896

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Cite this Entry

“Celesta.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celesta. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on celesta

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about celesta

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