viola da gamba


vi·​o·​la da gam·​ba vē-ˌō-lə-də-ˈgäm-bə How to pronounce viola da gamba (audio) -ˈgam- How to pronounce viola da gamba (audio)
plural violas da gamba vē-ˌō-ləz-də- How to pronounce viola da gamba (audio) or viole da gamba vē-ˌō-(ˌ)lā- How to pronounce viola da gamba (audio)
: a bass member of the viol family having a range approximating the cello
violist da gamba noun

Examples of viola da gamba in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jones plays the viola da gamba. Manuela Andreoni, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2023 This is where Jones’ viola da gamba comes in. Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2023 Along with Lebedinsky, the group includes Kati Kyme on viola, William Skeen on violoncello and viola da gamba, Kevin Cooper on the lute-like theorbo, and violinists Aaron Westman and Anna Washburn. Beth Woodcontributor, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Feb. 2023 The viola da gamba also was popular at that time, but eventually the cello elbowed it out of the modern-day orchestra. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 23 Feb. 2023 It’s generally accepted that Andrea Amati in Cremona, Italy, built the first four-string violin in the 16th century, following the general shape of the viola da gamba. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 July 2022 His efforts were enhanced by Christopher Phillpott’s stylish contributions on the viola da gamba. Dallas News, 2 Apr. 2022 A few years later, a high school-aged Hargis sat in on a concert by the same Collegium, not knowing her future husband, now a viola da gamba major, was playing in the group. Hannah Edgar,, 20 Apr. 2022 Its roots go back to a Renaissance instrument called a viola da gamba. Jessi Virtusio,, 30 Mar. 2022

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

Word History


Italian, leg viol

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of viola da gamba was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near viola da gamba

Cite this Entry

“Viola da gamba.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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