noun, plural hur·dy-gur·dies.
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
1740–50;Related formshur·dy-gur·dist, hur·dy-gur·dy·ist, noun
variant of Scots hirdy-girdy
uproar, influencedby hurly-burly
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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.
The boy evinced his gratitude by a new turn of the hurdy-gurdy.
Tonio will take to the hurdy-gurdy again; him an' Puck should win money too.
British Dictionary definitions for hurdy-gurdy
noun plural -dies
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
C18: rhyming compound, probably of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for hurdy-gurdy
1749, perhaps imitative of its sound and influenced by c.1500 hirdy-girdy "uproar, confusion."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper