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samisen

[sam-uh-sen] /ˈsæm əˌsɛn/
noun
1.
a guitarlike Japanese musical instrument having an extremely long neck and three strings, played with a plectrum.
Origin of samisen
1610-1620
1610-20; < Japanese < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese sānxia three-string banjo
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for samisen
Historical Examples
  • One took her samisen and sang; never did I listen to anything sweeter.

    Lafcadio Hearn Nina H. Kennard
  • And you could not play the samisen because I was in your arms.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
  • The street of the geisha is full of music, for they play the samisen there all day long.

    Japanese Fairy Tales

    Grace James
  • She played the samisen, the kotto, the biwa, and the small hand-drum.

    Japanese Fairy Tales

    Grace James
  • Sawaichi was a honest, good-natured fellow, who earned a bare living by giving lessons on the koto and samisen.

    Romances of Old Japan

    Yei Theodora Ozaki
  • "Chin—chin—tsu: chin—chin: tsu—chin—chin—tsu," tinkling in imitation of the samisen.

    Romances of Old Japan

    Yei Theodora Ozaki
  • While he feasted ten little goldfish danced, and just behind the goldfish ten carp made sweet music on the koto and samisen.

    Myths & Legends of Japan

    F. Hadland (Frederick Hadland) Davis
  • Still the samisen tinkled, and still the voice sounded sweet and low and unspeakably pathetic in the apartment.

    Myths & Legends of Japan

    F. Hadland (Frederick Hadland) Davis
  • One morning Sawaichi got out his samisen, and striking some chords, began to play.

    Romances of Old Japan

    Yei Theodora Ozaki
  • Beyond an awkward touch on samisen, mainly due to her own practice, she was a moor girl, a very rustic.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville
British Dictionary definitions for samisen

samisen

/ˈsæmɪˌsɛn/
noun
1.
a variant of shamisen
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
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Word Origin and History for samisen
n.

Japanese three-stringed instrument, 1610s, from Chinese san-hsien, literally "three-strings," from san "three" + hsien "string."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
11
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