cel·​lo | \ ˈche-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce cello (audio) \
plural cellos also celli\ ˈche-​lē How to pronounce cello (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 It’s not out here where the piano keys are, or where the cello is. NBC News, "James Levine, who ruled over Met Opera, dead at age 77," 17 Mar. 2021 Guyton kicked off the performance with a single spotlight, accompanied by a cello, piano and pedal steel guitar. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "Mickey Guyton, first Black woman to be nominated for a Best Country Solo performance, performs "Black Like Me"," 14 Mar. 2021 Guyton performed her song in the round with a simple instrumental setup of cello, piano and pedal steel. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, "Mickey Guyton Performed ‘Black Like Me’ at the 2021 Grammy Awards," 15 Mar. 2021 Also calling for an unusual mix of performers is Dohnányi’s Sextet in C for piano, clarinet, horn, violin, viola and cello. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Review: Voices of Change and Dallas Chamber Music Society serve up modern American works," 10 Mar. 2021 The UConn School of Fine Arts Faculty Showcase will feature Solomiya Ivakhiv on violin, Sophie Shao on cello, Louis Hanzlik on trumpet, Eric Reed on the French horn, and special guest Tanya Bannister, on piano. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 5 Mar. 2021 All five of his children played the violin, viola or cello while in school. Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, "Robert Scholz, composer, arranger and longtime St. Olaf music professor, dies at 81," 3 Mar. 2021 Katlin enjoys playing the cello and is interested in pursuing a career in interior design, her father said. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, "Missing S.F. teen left note expressing pandemic isolation before her disappearance," 25 Feb. 2021 The cello is closest to the human voice, so there’s a long solo in the piece. Beth Wood Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Classical composer Carlos Simon uses music to express frustration and anger, giving way to hope," 21 Feb. 2021

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

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cello.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cello. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on cello

Nglish: Translation of cello for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cello

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