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 After studying violin as a child, Mr. Singer learned reed instruments in his teens and settled on tenor sax after hearing jazzmen Lester Young and Ben Webster. Washington Post, "Hal Singer, influential R&B saxophonist with a No. 1 hit, dies at 100," 9 Sep. 2020 Yes, people have bought more electronic toys, but more have also been singing in choirs, learning the violin, or joining writing classes than ever before. Frank Trentmann, The New Republic, "The Unequal Future of Consumption," 10 Aug. 2020 Anesthetists and a therapist kept a close watch on Turner, who played away on her violin. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch a Musician Play Violin During Brain Surgery," 21 Feb. 2020 It's been a year since police approached McClain, whose family has described him as an energetic and happy person who loved animals and played the violin and guitar. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Elijah McClain died after a police encounter almost one year ago. Here's what happened since," 24 Aug. 2020 McClain's parents said in a statement released by their lawyer that their son was a creative and peaceful man who played his violin for cats at animal shelters to ease their loneliness and would not swat a fly. CBS News, "Colorado attorney general announces broader probe of Aurora Police Department," 11 Aug. 2020 Like her 11-year-old brother Benjamin, who plays violin, this was her third year at CMI. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: San Antonio classical music camp with West Side roots is surviving pandemic by acting globally," 30 July 2020 Their father played violin in the city’s symphony for years and their mother taught piano and sang at funerals and weddings. Conrad Swanson, The Denver Post, "Vail mourns the loss of beloved musician to COVID-19," 26 Mar. 2020 His mother, Isabella, taught viola and violin and played in chamber and symphonic groups. Richard Sandomir,, "Billy Goldenberg, TV, movie, and stage composer," 18 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for violin

Time Traveler

The first known use of violin was circa 1576

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Statistics for violin

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Violin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for violin


How to pronounce violin (audio)

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

Nglish: Translation of violin for Spanish Speakers

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

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