- a musical instrument, originating in Africa but popularized and modified in Central America, consisting of a set of graduated wooden bars, often with resonators beneath to reinforce the sound, struck with mallets.
Origin of marimba
1695–1705; < Portuguese < Kimbundu or a related Bantu language; akin to kalimba
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Examples from the Web for marimba
You'll hear a marimba and dulcimer every so often in this crescendoing collection of stellar four-part harmonies.10 Great Bands You’ve Never Heard
May 26, 2013
One of their chief instruments is the 'Marimba' or 'Tyanbilo,' a form of harmonium.
The Marimba is played with drum-sticks of rubber, and the tone is good and powerful.
This form of Marimba is also met with amongst the natives of Costa Rica.
The Portuguese have imitated the marimba, and use it in their dances in Angola.Great African Travellers
Others assert that the Indians have known the marimba time out of mind, and undoubtedly invented it.
- a Latin American percussion instrument consisting of a set of hardwood plates placed over tuned metal resonators, played with two soft-headed sticks in each hand
C18: of West African origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for marimba
1704, from an African language, probably Bantu (cf. Kimbundu and Swahili marimba, malimba, name of a xylophone-like instrument).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper