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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 The ensemble consists of music students from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire who play on baroque-era style instruments including harpsichord, theorbo (a type of lute), baroque violin and viola da gamba. Sheryl Devore,, 23 Nov. 2021 The Incarnation concert featured viola da gamba sonatas by J.S. Bach (in D major, BWV 1028) and his son Carl Philip Emanuel Bach (in C major, H. 558). Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 15 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'viola da gamba.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 24 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on viola da gamba

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?