viola

1
[ vee-oh-luh ]
/ viˈoʊ lə /
|

noun

a four-stringed musical instrument of the violin family, slightly larger than the violin; a tenor or alto violin.
a labial organ stop of eight-foot or four-foot pitch, giving tones of a penetrating stringlike quality.

Origin of viola

1
1715–25; < Italian viola < Old Provençal viola; see viol

Can be confused

viola voilà

Definition for viola (2 of 3)

viola

2
[ vahy-oh-luh, vee-, vahy-uh- ]
/ vaɪˈoʊ lə, vi-, ˈvaɪ ə- /

noun

any plant of the genus Viola, especially a cultivated variety.Compare pansy(def 1), violet(defs 1, 2).
a pansy, V. cornuta, cultivated as a garden plant.

Origin of viola

2
1400–50; late Middle English: violet < Latin: violet

Definition for viola (3 of 3)

Viola

[ vahy-oh-luh, vee-, vahy-uh- ]
/ vaɪˈoʊ lə, vi-, ˈvaɪ ə- /

noun

a female given name.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for viola

British Dictionary definitions for viola (1 of 2)

viola

1
/ (vɪˈəʊlə) /

noun

a bowed stringed instrument, the alto of the violin family; held beneath the chin when played. It is pitched and tuned an octave above the cello
any of various instruments of the viol family, such as the viola da gamba

Word Origin for viola

C18: from Italian viola, probably from Old Provençal viola, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Latin vītulārī to rejoice

British Dictionary definitions for viola (2 of 2)

viola

2
/ (ˈvaɪələ, vaɪˈəʊ-) /

noun

any temperate perennial herbaceous plant of the violaceous genus Viola, the flowers of which have showy irregular petals, white, yellow, blue, or mauve in colourSee also violet (def. 1), pansy (def. 1)

Word Origin for viola

C15: from Latin: violet
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

Culture definitions for viola

viola

[ (vee-oh-luh) ]

A musical instrument shaped like a violin but somewhat larger, lower pitched, and “darker” in tone. A viola player holds a viola like a violin, under the chin.


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.