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viola da gamba

[vee-oh-luh duh gahm-buh, -gam-]
noun, plural viola da gambas.
  1. an old musical instrument of the viol family, held on or between the knees: superseded by the modern violoncello; bass viol.
  2. an organ stop of eight-foot pitch giving a stringlike tone.
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Origin of viola da gamba

1590–1600; < Italian: literally, viol for the leg
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for viola da gamba

Historical Examples

  • John Nicolaus Bach (No. 9) was a town musician and good performer on the viola-da-gamba.

    Bach

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams


British Dictionary definitions for viola da gamba

viola da gamba

noun
  1. the second largest and lowest member of the viol familySee viol
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Word Origin

C18: from Italian, literally: viol for the leg
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