cel·lo | \ˈche-(ˌ)lō \
plural cellos also celli\-lē \

Definition of cello 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cello

cellist \ˈche-list \ noun

Examples of cello in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Daniel Veis, Park University’s professor of cello, will give a recital with his wife, pianist Helena Veisova, in April. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "KC Symphony’s Celebration at the Station starts off summer with a boom | The Kansas City Star," 18 May 2018 Opener: SistaStrings, a real sister pairing of local cello and violin players Chauntee and Monique Ross. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top Milwaukee concerts this week: OSHUN, Joan Jett, PnB Rock, Rostam and more," 8 Feb. 2018 Johansen also gains major commitment points for schlepping across the Camino with that enormous cello strapped to his back. Gary Goldstein, latimes.com, "'Strangers on the Earth' doc inspires as it captures musician's sacred trek," 31 May 2018 The French cellist Blaise Déjardin, currently a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s cello section, has been named its next principal cellist. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "BSO taps one of its own as next principal cellist," 2 Apr. 2018 Kevin sings and plays guitar while vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Michael plays guitar, cello and other stringed instruments. Chrissie Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "The Bacon Brothers is a family thing in more ways than one," 5 July 2018 The 18-member string orchestra with its sections of violin, viola, cello and string bass were joined by Jiayi He, a master of the harmonica. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Harmonica And Strings Make For Unforgettable Concert," 21 June 2018 The one-hour programs include three events already announced for June: cellist Christine Zdunkiewicz and friends on June 13, violinist Christine Choi and cellist Jia-mo Chen on June 20, and The Black Cedar Trio (flute, guitar, cello) on June 27. Anthony Barcellos, sacbee, "Summer selections for classical music lovers," 8 June 2018 At Vivaldi, the most popular instruments for elementary school beginners is guitar, piano, violin and cello. Allison Bagley, Houston Chronicle, "Give music lessons a whirl," 28 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of cello

1855, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cello

short for violoncello

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cello

Statistics for cello

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cello

The first known use of cello was in 1855

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
plural cellos

Kids Definition of cello

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cello

What made you want to look up cello? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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