shamisen

noun
sham·​i·​sen | \ ˈsha-mə-ˌsen How to pronounce shamisen (audio) \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈsa-​mə-​ˌsen How to pronounce samisen (audio) \

Definition of shamisen

: a 3-stringed Japanese musical instrument resembling a banjo

Examples of shamisen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Much of the excitement of this hour—both for viewers and the characters themselves—was in recognizing the clone character under the pancake makeup, or in hearing a familiar tune rendered in shamisen. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: A Cut Above," 20 May 2018 During the course of an evening, a geisha or meikko engages in skillful conversation before transitioning to play a three-stringed instrument called a shamisen. Sery Kim, Fox News, "The truth about modern day geishas," 15 June 2017 These delicate, highly ritualized pieces are performed in elaborate costume and makeup, to the accompaniment of flute, drums, chanting, and the banjo-like shamisen. The New Yorker, "Nihon Buyō Dance," 31 Mar. 2017

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

1864, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shamisen

Japanese

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Time Traveler for shamisen

Time Traveler

The first known use of shamisen was in 1864

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Cite this Entry

“Shamisen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shamisen. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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