vi·​o·​lin | \ˌvī-ə-ˈlin \

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 \ noun
violinistic \ˌvī-​ə-​lə-​ˈni-​stik \ adjective

Examples of violin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But at the time, her parents reportedly didn't have the money to pay for violin lessons for their talented daughter. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Trio Guest Lindsey Stirling Was Once Blasted on 'America's Got Talent'," 16 Oct. 2018 And a portion of the house is even designated as a museum, complete with original Stradivarius violins. Alex Schechter, Vogue, "Beyond Airbnb: 9 Luxe Hotels That Cater to House Lovers," 11 Oct. 2018 Crowe said the most sentimental item was an 1890 Leandro Bisiach violin Crowe used in Master and Commander. Dave Quinn,, "Russell Crowe's Used Leather Jock Strap Fetches $7K as 'Divorce Auction' Rakes in $3.7 Million," 7 Apr. 2018 After her orchestra pit epiphany, her mother, Annette Swartz, enrolled her in Suzuki violin classes., "This Beaverton teen doesn't just play in an orchestra - she also composes for it," 25 Feb. 2018 The 18th century violin was snatched in 1980 from Totenberg’s dressing room after a concert in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Verena Dobnik, The Seattle Times, "Stolen Stradivarius found after decades comes to life again," 9 Oct. 2018 Preucil has fostered over the years a highly individual string sound from the festival orchestras, ranging from a bright sweetness in the violins to a woody richness starting in the violas and blooming in the cellos and basses. Marcus Overton,, "Mainly Mozart orchestra, led by Michael Francis, closes 30th season with impressive Mendelssohn," 24 June 2018 Years ago, Grace’s father, William Edwards, purchased the violin from Frank S. Chatfield in Oconomowoc. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Okauchee woman reunited with restored childhood violin for 90th birthday," 3 Apr. 2018 The violin the audience is being asked to play here is so very, very small. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "The Graduate 50 Years After Its Oscar Win," 3 Mar. 2018

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

1 Dec 2018

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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 \

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

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living or existing for a long time

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