cel·​lo | \ ˈche-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce cello (audio) \
plural cellos also celli\ ˈche-​lē How to pronounce celli (audio) \

Definition of cello

: the bass member of the violin family tuned an octave below the viola

Examples of cello in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At some point the observable universe would have contracted to a size smaller than ripples of a certain wavelength, like a violin whose resonant cavity is too small to produce the sounds of a cello. Quanta Magazine, "A New Test for the Leading Big Bang Theory," 11 Sep. 2018 Acoustic and electronic instruments, from cello to guitar, violin and percussion. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Ludovico: The piano’s quiet rock star talks about his first Houston concert," 11 July 2018 The cello turned out to be fine, but a member of the crew filming him suggested packing the empty space inside his case with diapers, the silicone gel in which would suck up humidity. New York Times, "Strapping On His Cello for a 600-Mile Bach Pilgrimage," 9 May 2018 Bach cello suites 3 and 4. 2:30 p.m. Tues., June 5. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 31 May 2018 Cantatas, concertos, and cello suites featuring some of the country’s finest early-music makers can be heard in venues such as St. Luke’s Cathedral and the Etz Chaim Synagogue. BostonGlobe.com, "Critic’s picks: From Bach to ‘The Barber of Seville,’ 10 can’t-miss classical events," 18 May 2018 Preucil has fostered over the years a highly individual string sound from the festival orchestras, ranging from a bright sweetness in the violins to a woody richness starting in the violas and blooming in the cellos and basses. Marcus Overton, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Mainly Mozart orchestra, led by Michael Francis, closes 30th season with impressive Mendelssohn," 24 June 2018 The conductor took pains to bring out the cello and viola lines, thereby making sure the middle register of Schumann’s symphonic spectrum would make its presence felt. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "CSO under Kent Nagano delivers a snazzy slice of vintage Bernstein," 30 Mar. 2018 Dvorak specified that the first entry of the cello be made resolutely and with marked accent. Alan Artner, chicagotribune.com, "In the heat, Moser, Grant Park Orchestra perform a delicate Dvorak," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cello.' 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 cello

1855, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cello

short for violoncello

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Statistics for cello

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for cello

The first known use of cello was in 1855

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More Definitions for cello



English Language Learners Definition of cello

: a large musical instrument like a violin that is held between the player's knees while the player sits


cel·​lo | \ ˈche-lō How to pronounce cello (audio) \
plural cellos

Kids Definition of cello

: a large stringed instrument of the violin family that plays the bass part

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More from Merriam-Webster on cello

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cello

Spanish Central: Translation of cello

Nglish: Translation of cello for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cello

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to take the place or position of

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