- 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</p>
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