vi·​o·​lin | \ ˌvī-ə-ˈlin How to pronounce violin (audio) \

Definition of violin

: a bowed stringed instrument having four strings tuned at intervals of a fifth and a usual range from G below middle C upward for more than 4¹/₂ octaves and having a shallow body, shoulders at right angles to the neck, a fingerboard without frets, and a curved bridge

Illustration of violin

Illustration of violin

violin: 1 bridge, 2 sound hole, 3 soundboard, 4 fingerboard, 5 pegs, 6 scroll, 7 tailpiece, g G-string, d D-string, a A-string, e E-string

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Other Words from violin

violinist \ ˌvī-​ə-​ˈli-​nist How to pronounce violinist (audio) \ noun
violinistic \ ˌvī-​ə-​lə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce violinistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of violin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tony-winning director Rebecca Taichman creates a strong sense of time and place with only a few spare instruments and an affecting score from Lisa Gutkin (who also plays the violin on stage). Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Indecent is a masterful, exquisitely rendered piece of storytelling: EW review," 12 June 2019 Actually, Anderson doesn’t play the violin any longer. Joey Johnston, The Mercury News, "Anderson’s dazzling starting debut spoiled in A’s loss," 10 June 2019 Mehek Jethani Capstone Project: Food Computer for an Educational Agriculture Club Mehek’s many interests range from robotics and computer programming to graphic design and playing the violin. National Geographic, "Meet Our 2018 Grant Winners!," 29 May 2019 Veres was also a violin player in the orchestra at the old Front Row Theater in Highland Heights. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "Mayfield Heights resident Andy Veres has lived a rich, musical life of nearly 100 years," 27 Apr. 2018 Opener: SistaStrings, a real sister pairing of local cello and violin players Chauntee and Monique Ross. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top Milwaukee concerts this week: OSHUN, Joan Jett, PnB Rock, Rostam and more," 8 Feb. 2018 The 18-member string orchestra with its sections of violin, viola, cello and string bass were joined by Jiayi He, a master of the harmonica. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Harmonica And Strings Make For Unforgettable Concert," 21 June 2018 Antonio Stradivari is widely considered the greatest violin maker of all time, and his instruments sell for as much as $16 million. Dean Peterson, Vox, "Why Stradivarius violins are worth millions," 15 May 2018 Most would agree that the sound of a beginner playing the violin isn’t for the fainthearted, and that’s putting it nicely. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "The ‘Stick-Slip’ Beauty of Bow and String," 30 Jan. 2019

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

circa 1576, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for violin

borrowed from Italian violino, from viola "viola, viol" + -ino, diminutive suffix, going back to Latin -īnus -ine entry 1

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Statistics for violin

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for violin

The first known use of violin was circa 1576

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More Definitions for violin



English Language Learners Definition of violin

: a musical instrument that has four strings and that you usually hold against your shoulder under your chin and play with a bow


vi·​o·​lin | \ ˌvī-ə-ˈlin How to pronounce violin (audio) \

Kids Definition of violin

: a stringed musical instrument with four strings that is usually held against the shoulder under the chin and played with a bow

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More from Merriam-Webster on violin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with violin

Spanish Central: Translation of violin

Nglish: Translation of violin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of violin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about violin

Comments on violin

What made you want to look up violin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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