Definition of cymbal in English:



  • A musical instrument consisting of a slightly concave round brass plate which is either struck against another one or struck with a stick to make a ringing or clashing sound.

    • ‘You could practically hear the ridges of the cymbal as the stick was slowly scraped along it to produce a shimmer of sound.’
    • ‘It began with brass, drums and crashing cymbals, and it skipped into an irresistible beat that was borne along by a thumping tuba.’
    • ‘Then there was laughter and well-wishing and noise-making from the hall as those outside sounded cymbals amidst shouts and jests.’
    • ‘Other instruments used in folk music include transverse and vertical flutes, drums, cymbals, gongs, and tambourines.’
    • ‘I was completely and utterly entertained from the first kick of the bass drum to the last crash of the cymbal.’
    • ‘The rolling cymbals near the beginning of the composition seem more anachronistic than anything else.’
    • ‘Sounds of beating drums and ringing cymbals, typical in China and in Chinatowns in many countries, will fill the air.’
    • ‘He created original sounds from his cymbals and skins using sticks, brushes, and even his hands.’
    • ‘This track showcased Perth's finesse on the hi-hat and cymbals.’
    • ‘The angels are depicted as playing a collection of musical instruments, including the harp, tambourine, cymbals, lyre and psaltery.’
    • ‘My snare drum and cymbals are the only things I spent a lot of money on.’
    • ‘Accompanied by harp, flute, oboe, drums and cymbals, Madhavi enters and begins an invocation dance.’
    • ‘The chants are conducted with drum beats and interspersed with resonating long horns and the clash of cymbals.’
    • ‘We had a very satisfying jam, with bass guitar, theremin and a drum kit minus sticks and cymbals.’
    • ‘The use of the four cymbals in the third and fourth movements of the work adds a dramatic and creative sonic element.’
    • ‘The teacher gave each kid a rhythm instrument to play - drums, cymbals, sticks, and so on.’
    • ‘A variety of suspended cymbals is made for the drum kit.’
    • ‘They had a drum kit consisting of a lone cymbal, kick drum and snare.’
    • ‘The music is is characteristically punctuated with sounds of cymbals, drums and long trumpets.’
    • ‘As soon as Lucas tapped the crash cymbal on the drum kit to end the song, Sonya let go of the microphone and ran out of the room.’


Old English, from Latin cymbalum, from Greek kumbalon, from kumbē ‘cup’; readopted in Middle English from Old French cymbale.