[ bal-uh-lahy-kuh ]
/ ˌbæl əˈlaɪ kə /


a Russian musical instrument having a triangular body and a neck like that of a guitar.

Origin of balalaika

1780–90; < Russian balaláĭka, equivalent to balalaĭ-, probably originally a v. base, akin to balabólitʾ, balákatʾ chatter, talk nonsense (compare Russian dial., Ukrainian balabáĭka balalaika), expressive derivatives of Slavic *bay- speak, tell, akin to fate, -phasia + -ka noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for balalaika

British Dictionary definitions for balalaika


/ (ˌbæləˈlaɪkə) /


a plucked musical instrument, usually having a triangular body and three strings: used chiefly for Russian folk music

Word Origin for balalaika

C18: from Russian
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 balalaika



stringed instrument with a triangular body, 1788, from Russian balalaika, said to be related to balabolit' "to chatter, babble," an imitative word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper