[muh-rah-kuh, -rak-uh]

Origin of maraca

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

Examples from the Web for maracas

Historical Examples of maracas

  • Two guitars, a cornet, maracas, sticks and a lugubrious baritone.

    The Five Arrows

    Allan Chase

British Dictionary definitions for maracas


  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

Word Origin for maraca

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 maracas

see maraca.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper