or re·beck

[ ree-bek ]
/ ˈri bɛk /


a Renaissance fiddle with a pear-shaped body tapering into a neck that ends in a sickle-shaped or scroll-shaped pegbox.

Nearby words

  1. rebated,
  2. rebatement,
  3. rebato,
  4. rebbe,
  5. rebbetzin,
  6. rebecca,
  7. rebekah,
  8. rebel,
  9. rebel yell,
  10. rebeldom

Origin of rebec

1745–55; < Middle French; replacing Middle English ribibe < Old French rebebeArabic rabāb rebab Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rebec

British Dictionary definitions for rebec



/ (ˈriːbɛk) /


a medieval stringed instrument resembling the violin but having a lute-shaped body

Word Origin for rebec

C16: from Old French rebebe, from Arabic rebāb; perhaps also influenced by Old French bec beak

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 rebec



medieval stringed musical instrument, early 15c., from Middle French rebec (15c.), an unexplained alteration (perhaps somehow influenced by bec "beak") of Old French ribabe (13c.), ultimately from Arabic rebab. Cf. Old Provençal rebec, Italian ribeca. It has three strings and is played with a bow.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper