ma·​ra·​ca mə-ˈrä-kə How to pronounce maraca (audio) -ˈra- How to pronounce maraca (audio)
: a rattle usually made from a gourd that is used as a percussion instrument

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Naert, a physicist at ENS Lyon in France, and his team have a unique take: Their contraption consists of a soundproofed glass container placed on a vibrating platform that shakes some 300 steel beads inside it like a quiet maraca. Sophia Chen, WIRED, 14 Oct. 2022 Lili includes four noisy spinners, two gears, a maraca in her tail, a five-bar xylophone on her back, a set of notches for a washboard sound, two clacking saddle blankets and two mallets that store in her head. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 5 May 2022 Step 2 Fold the chain into the plastic jar, add degreaser or mineral spirits to cover, tighten the lid, and then shake it like a maraca for two minutes. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 6 Nov. 2020 The styrofoam-like innards slid out of my maraca and onto the floor, and the dog ate some. Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2022 An additional music and dance zone will be located at the Sea Harbor Pavilions, along with a maraca-making stop for kids, a dance class with Sesame Street’s Rosita, shopping and additional Latin cuisine and a bar. Dewayne Bevil,, 12 May 2021 There are times when fairly — and unfairly — intelligent people turn my noggin into a maraca. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Dec. 2020 The plot revolves around a young NASA scientist Isaac (Ryan Masson) whose life is shaken like a maraca after an extraterrestrial abduction. Matt Wake |, al, 31 July 2020 Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire marched with them, Butler shaking a giant maraca and beaming while and Chassagne twirled with a group of dancers in matching satin skirts. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, 21 Feb. 2019 See More

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.

Word History


Portuguese maracá, from Tupi maraká

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of maraca was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near maraca

Cite this Entry

“Maraca.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



ma·​ra·​ca mə-ˈräk-ə How to pronounce maraca (audio) -ˈrak- How to pronounce maraca (audio)
: a dried gourd or a rattle like a gourd that contains dried seeds or pebbles and is used as a musical rhythm instrument usually played in pairs by shaking

More from Merriam-Webster on maraca

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