cel·​lo ˈche-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce cello (audio)
plural cellos also celli ˈche-lē How to pronounce cello (audio)
: the bass member of the violin family tuned an octave below the viola

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But after picking up a cello for the first time at age 10, Heyward never looked back. Baltimore Sun, 1 Feb. 2023 Other artworks by Adickes include his famous outdoor sculpture of a larger-than-life cello in downtown Houston and a 67-foot-tall Sam Houston monument on Interstate 45 near Huntsville. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 19 Jan. 2023 Students from the Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester performed the Pledge of Allegiance, and a vocalist performed a passionate rendition of the National Anthem, accompanied by a cello. Samantha J. Gross, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Jan. 2023 The timbres that emerged were thoroughly bewitching: an F-sharp-minor arpeggio figure in the Andantino sounded as if it were being played by a cello and a bassoon in unison. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2022 Fairbanks, an honor student in high school and at UAB, who also plays the cello, signed with UAB’s 2018 recruiting class and redshirted his first season on the Southside. Evan Dudley, al, 30 Sep. 2022 Classes will be held on Tuesdays, and will focus on beginner technique for the violin, cello, and viola, with a group recital on May 23. Johanna Seltz, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Dec. 2022 It was feelingly played by DSO principals Alexander Kerr and Angela Fuller Heyde (violins), Meredith Kufchak (viola) and Christopher Adkins (cello). Dallas News, 18 Mar. 2022 Yoga, meditation, practicing her voice and cello (usually Bach) in the morning, composing through the afternoon, retrieving her son from school, home to cook dinner in the evening, Now 40, Guðnadóttir feels this is the best time of her life. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 10 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


short for violoncello

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cello was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near cello

Cite this Entry

“Cello.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cello. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


cel·​lo ˈchel-ō How to pronounce cello (audio)
plural cellos
: a large musical instrument of the violin family that plays the bass or tenor part

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