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 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, "Preservation Hall Jazz Band Honors 'Sacred' Musical Roots With Krewe du Kanaval & Doc Before Mardi Gras," 21 Feb. 2019 But then a maraca goes into his mouth and someone silently disapproves and my baby gets sick. Beth Spotswood,, "‘Library look’ at story time gets read by her as ‘bad mom’," 25 Sep. 2019 My 10-month-old was sucking on a public-library-singing-and-story-time maraca. Beth Spotswood,, "‘Library look’ at story time gets read by her as ‘bad mom’," 25 Sep. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of maraca

1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for maraca

Portuguese maracá, from Tupi maraká

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maraca

Time Traveler for maraca

Time Traveler

The first known use of maraca was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Statistics for maraca

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Maraca.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for maraca


How to pronounce maraca (audio) How to pronounce maraca (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!