- a barrel organ or similar musical instrument played by turning a crank.
- a lute- or guitar-shaped stringed musical instrument sounded by the revolution against the strings of a rosined wheel turned by a crank.
Origin of hurdy-gurdy
Examples from the Web for hurdy-gurdy
Historical Examples of hurdy-gurdy
The hurdy-gurdy, I need hardly tell you, belongs to the organ family.
But in the city it is the hurdy-gurdy that gives notice of the turning of the seasons.
He had gone into a courtyard off Holborn, drawn by the sound of a hurdy-gurdy.On the Stairs
Henry B. Fuller
The boy evinced his gratitude by a new turn of the hurdy-gurdy.The Caxtons, Complete
Tonio will take to the hurdy-gurdy again; him an' Puck should win money too.Two Little Travellers
Frances Browne Arthur
- any mechanical musical instrument, such as a barrel organ
- a medieval instrument shaped like a viol in which a rosined wheel rotated by a handle sounds the strings
Word Origin for hurdy-gurdy
1749, perhaps imitative of its sound and influenced by c.1500 hirdy-girdy "uproar, confusion."