ko·​ra ˈkȯr-ə How to pronounce kora (audio)
: a 21-stringed African musical instrument resembling a lute

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Morning sun filters into the monastery church as the melodic twang of two harplike instruments – known as koras – fills the air, combining with the voices of two dozen singing monks. Guy Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 May 2023 The kora, a West African stringed instrument that sounds like a lute or a harp, became a key element of the score, as did traditional African drums like the sabar and djembe. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 11 Nov. 2022 Until the temple is reopened fully, Vanhoebrouck urges travelers to walk around the temple a few times, also called a kora -- a meditative pilgrimage that involves repeatedly circling around a sacred site in a clockwise direction. Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN, 28 Oct. 2022 My father’s favorite sound was the sound of the kora, a harp-like instrument with twenty-one strings held taut between a wooden neck and a calabash body. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 There will be Afro-Cuban jazz, bluegrass, chamber music, Senegalese kora playing, Mexican son jarocho and much more. Beth Wood Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Aug. 2021 Called Korapiano, the new piece draws inspiration from the kora — a type of African harp — and uses West African folk tunes. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 16 June 2021 Sissoko is one of Mali’s most famous players of the kora, a traditional string instrument that was played in royal courts and is now celebrated around the world. Joe Penney, Quartz Africa, 6 Feb. 2020 This set is an electric affair for Touré, who normally plays acoustically and with more-traditional West African instruments like the forefather of the banjo, the kora. Paul De Revere, Billboard, 28 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kora.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kora was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near kora

Cite this Entry

“Kora.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kora. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

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