ma·​ra·​ca | \ mə-ˈrä-kə How to pronounce maraca (audio) , -ˈra- How to pronounce maraca (audio) \

Definition of maraca

: a rattle usually made from a gourd that is used as a percussion instrument

Examples of maraca in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With Ava’s help, Ari shook a tiny maraca, played a hand drum, held tight to some colorful ribbons and reached high over her head to grab a small green tambourine. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Music therapy brings unity, hope to family with child on hospice," 10 July 2019 In the two-minute clip, the children are standing in what appears to be the Harts' living room; Devonte is seen dancing with a bongo drum, Abigail is holding a guitar, and Jeremiah is shaking a maraca while Hannah dances off to the side. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 2: 'If Not Us, Who?'," 11 Dec. 2018 Some fans have taken to Twitter to criticize Beyoncé's decision to wear the sombrero, as well as the fact that she was spotted carrying a maraca. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Stepped Out in a Sombrero for Cinco de Mayo," 6 May 2017 An eleven-foot-tall maraca, decorated with a cheerfully skeletal grimace of frosting-like acrylic paint, welcomes visitors to this exuberant show, which riffs on pre-Columbian motifs and was inspired by the artist’s experiments with ayahuasca. The New Yorker, "Tamara Gonzales," 31 Mar. 2017 One morning, the sound of their shaking maracas and ukulele strumming suddenly stopped, and his teacher interrupted my lesson. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Raising a bilingual child, far from home, and perhaps to my son’s dismay," 1 Feb. 2017 Sega’s cult classic maracas-shaking rhythm game Samba De Amigo will be headed to Nintendo’s console. Chris Kohler, WIRED, "Samba De Amigo Shakes Up Wii," 24 Sep. 2007

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

1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for maraca

Portuguese maracá, from Tupi maraká

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Statistics for maraca

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for maraca

The first known use of maraca was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of maraca

: a musical instrument with a handle and a round hollow top that is filled with beads, beans, etc., and is shaken to make noise


ma·​ra·​ca | \ mə-ˈrä-kə How to pronounce maraca (audio) , -ˈra-\

Kids Definition of maraca

: a musical rhythm instrument made of a dried gourd with seeds or pebbles inside that is usually played in pairs by shaking

More from Merriam-Webster on maraca

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maraca

Spanish Central: Translation of maraca Encyclopedia article about maraca

Comments on maraca

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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