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 cymbal (audio) \ noun

Examples of cymbal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The melody repeats, now with the background crescendo of a super-lush cymbal build, and then again when the song finally arrives at the chorus, now filled even more with percussion, guitar, and horn section. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 9 Apr. 2021 Dust will settle into the cymbal's grooves over time, but this shouldn't affect performance. Michael Pollick,, 28 Mar. 2021 From condenser microphones on the cymbals to dynamic microphones on the drum heads, each component of the kit is best served by a different kind of microphone. Popular Science, 23 Mar. 2020 Percussionists tap on cymbals and scrape metal plates with stones. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2019 The sonorous rumble of a sousaphone laid down the low end, while cymbals, hi-hats, snare drums and bass drum offered the dynamic beats that elevate dance-floor denizens like a drug. Morena Duwe, Billboard, 11 Dec. 2019 And his eyes fluttered closed as the cymbal shivered and the piano plunked its final note. Dallas News, 5 Apr. 2020 Each year renowned cymbal makers Sabian help to craft the awards themselves, which double as playable percussive instruments, incorporating five custom bronze crotales. Karen Bliss, Billboard, 2 Apr. 2019 While dynamic microphones are perfect for capturing quick and snappy sounds, condenser microphones are the preferred method of capturing the nuances of smoother, more detailed elements like cymbals, making them great for overheads. Popular Science, 23 Mar. 2020

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

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Cite this Entry

“Cymbal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on cymbal

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


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