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[vahy-uh-lin] /ˌvaɪ əˈlɪn/
the treble instrument of the family of modern bowed instruments, held nearly horizontal by the player's arm with the lower part supported against the collarbone or shoulder.
a violinist or part for a violin.
Origin of violin
1570-80; < Italian violino, equivalent to viol(a) (see viola1) + -ino diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for violin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The lame girl who played the violin limped down the corridor into the ward.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • The violin and piano are excellent, but on some accounts the hand-organ is the best of all.

  • I am a musician—I play the violin on a boat till I strike—so now I will get you the music.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • Mr. Beckendorff had his violin in his hand, but his dress was much changed.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • I almost yelled, dashing wildly into my room to wash my hands and get my violin.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
British Dictionary definitions for violin


a bowed stringed instrument, the highest member of the violin family, consisting of a fingerboard, a hollow wooden body with waisted sides, and a sounding board connected to the back by means of a soundpost that also supports the bridge. It has two f-shaped sound holes cut in the belly. The instrument, noted for its fine and flexible tone, is the most important of the stringed instruments. It is held under the chin when played. Range: roughly three and a half octaves upwards from G below middle C
Word Origin
C16: from Italian violino a little viola, from viola1
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 violin

1570s, from Italian violino, diminutive of viola (see viola).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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violin in Culture

violin definition

The most familiar and highest-pitched instrument of the strings. A typical symphony orchestra has more than two dozen violinists.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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