Definition of arpeggione in English:



  • An early 19th-century stringed instrument resembling a guitar in shape and having six strings and frets, but played with a bow like a cello.

    • ‘The arpeggione, or guitar d' amour, was a six-stringed instrument, fretted and tuned like a guitar, but played like the ‘cello, held between the knees and bowed.’
    • ‘There are arpeggiones in museums, probably preserved as much on the basis of wanting to know what Schubert was writing for as much as for its place in the technological development of string instruments.’
    • ‘An almost forgotten instrument, the arpeggione enjoyed a brief life in the early 19th century.’
    • ‘Unfortunately for its maker and devotees, the arpeggione was anathema before it was even built.’
    • ‘The ‘arpeggione’ is one of those hybrid instruments that never caught on.’


Late 19th century: from German, from arpeggio.