• synonyms


[muh-rah-kuh, -rak-uh]
  1. a gourd or a gourd-shaped rattle filled with seeds or pebbles and used, often in a pair, as a rhythm instrument.
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Origin of maraca

1815–25; < Portuguese < Tupi maráka
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for maraca

Historical Examples

  • Davey was thrashing in the water, his face swollen and bloody, his eyes rattling like dried peas in a maraca.

    Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for maraca


  1. a percussion instrument, usually one of a pair, consisting of a gourd or plastic shell filled with dried seeds, pebbles, etc. It is used chiefly in Latin American music
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Word Origin

C20: Brazilian Portuguese, from Tupi
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 maraca


gourd rattle used as a percussion instrument, 1813, from Portuguese, from Brazilian native name.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper