- Also sam·buke [sam-byook] /ˈsæm byuk/. an ancient stringed musical instrument used in Greece and the Near East.
- a medieval hurdy-gurdy.
Origin of sambuca1
1350–1400; Middle English sambuke < Latin sambūca < Greek sambȳ́kē perhaps < Semitic; compare Aramaic sabbəkhā
[sam-boo-kuh; Italian sahm-boo-kah]
- a licorice-flavored Italian liqueur made from elderberries.
Origin of sambuca2
1970–75; < Italian, feminine derivative of sambuco elder < Latin sa(m)būcus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sambuca
A man with a table, Sambuca and Acqua-vita bottles on it, and wee glasses, one cent a drink: melodrama.
The sambuca seems to have been a large harp, which rested on the ground, like the harps of the Egyptians.
Among them are the Psaltery of various shapes, the Sambuca or sackbut, the single and double Chorus, &c.Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages
Edward Lewes Cutts
Word Origin and History for sambuca
Italian liqueur resembling anisette, 1971, from Italian, from Latin sambucus "elder tree."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper