cym·​bal | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce cymbal (audio) \

Definition of cymbal

: a concave metal plate (as of brass or bronze) that produces a brilliant clashing tone and that is struck with a drumstick or is used in pairs struck glancingly together

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Other Words from cymbal

cymbalist \ ˈsim-​bə-​list How to pronounce cymbalist (audio) \ noun

Examples of cymbal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each pad bore the tone of a different drum or cymbal, with several options programmed in. Jim Allen, Popular Mechanics, "5 Music Inventions that Rocked the ’80s—and Every Decade After," 14 Jan. 2020 Since Peart’s death, photos of his drum kit—an expansive, fascinating structure of drums, cymbals, and assorted percussive tools—have been circulating around social media. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Misfit Awesomeness of Neil Peart and Rush," 11 Jan. 2020 Live performances featured Haynes shrieking into a bullhorn, surrounded by seizure-inducing strobe lights, graphic projections of medical procedures and drum cymbals set on fire. René A. Guzman,, "Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes talks about his debut young adult novel," 9 Jan. 2020 And the rather startling appearances of harps, bells, snare drums and cymbals are clear tips of Davis’s hat to the three-ring circus of a re-orchestration that Eugene Goossens concocted for Thomas Beecham’s (in)famous 1950s recording. Joe Banno, Washington Post, "NSO presents a muddled ‘Messiah,’ but all is not lost," 20 Dec. 2019 His left hand, in particular, seems to comment on the music, like a cymbal in a drum set. New York Times, "‘Riverdance’ Was Years Ago. Colin Dunne Makes Quiet Music Now.," 8 Nov. 2019 Azar's drums shift seamlessly back and forth between cymbal-and-toms grandeur and snare stomp. Matt Wake |, al, "Alabama native drums on new song by rock legends The Who," 25 Nov. 2019 Let someone try that, acting the martyr for the sake of love, an’ not be a tinkling cymbal? Bohumil Hrabal, Harper's magazine, "Protocol or: A Contribution on the Renaissance as Compiled Jointly with My Uncle Josef," 25 Nov. 2019 Then came a small band, blaring out an anthem with four trumpets, a tuba, cymbals, and two drums. David Quammen, National Geographic, "To save wildlife, African governments turn to private management," 12 Nov. 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cymbal

Middle English, from Old English cymbal & Anglo-French cymbele, from Latin cymbalum, from Greek kymbalon, from kymbē bowl, boat

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Time Traveler for cymbal

Time Traveler

The first known use of cymbal was before the 12th century

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Statistics for cymbal

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cymbal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cymbal


How to pronounce cymbal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cymbal

: a musical instrument in the form of a slightly curved thin metal plate that is played by hitting it with a drumstick or with another cymbal and that makes a very loud metallic sound


cym·​bal | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce cymbal (audio) \

Kids Definition of cymbal

: a musical instrument in the form of a brass plate that is struck with a drumstick or is used in pairs struck together

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More from Merriam-Webster on cymbal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cymbal

Spanish Central: Translation of cymbal

Nglish: Translation of cymbal for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cymbal

Comments on cymbal

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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