Definition of balalaika in English:

balalaika

noun

  • A guitarlike musical instrument with a triangular body and two, three, or four strings, popular in Russia and other Slavic countries.

    • ‘I tried it on a Russian friend; he knew it, of course, and when he hummed it, balalaikas accompanied him, icy winds whistled across the steppes, and in the simple melody there was the sadness of a million dispossessed kulaks.’
    • ‘Add 3 teaspoonfuls of Russian nationalism and voila - the balalaika hit the streets in a blaze and haze of string glory.’
    • ‘Dr Zhivago comes to mind - there is even a theme identified with the heroine, although played on that ubiquitous mandolin rather than the balalaika.’
    • ‘Now he straightened his embroidered jerkin and fluffed his lace cuffs with a fastidious air, and the strings of the balalaika on his back sang gently as he shrugged.’
    • ‘By the age of 4, he was able to play the balalaika, accordion, and guitar, and by 8, the oboe as well as the trombone and other brass instruments.’
    • ‘A slow opening track, it reflects a reminiscent and reflective mood created by the atmospheric soundscape style of slow balalaika sounding guitars, heavy cymbal use, and acerbic but complementary vocals heard throughout the album.’
    • ‘We figure that the red instrument on the right is a balalaika.’
    • ‘All the chorus writing, including some clarinet-led boat music in which strings imitate a balalaika, a wedding song that yields to anguish, some vigorous, aggressive Polish bravado, and the noble imperial finale, is dramatic and vivid.’
    • ‘The book is a rare collector's edition as it includes an original drawing of Winnie the Pooh in traditional Russian costume playing a balalaika.’
    • ‘Daniil stroked his balalaika and Eddy sang, the way they always had.’
    • ‘You can hear every pure delightful twang and warble of every guitar, gadulka, balalaika and harp and in a couple of tracks a clarinet cuts the melody with a compelling slice of romance.’
    • ‘‘We will get together to have something like borsch and vodka on the table, have Russian accordion and balalaika and a lot singing,’ she says excitedly.’
    • ‘Neither bards nor balalaikas really qualify as ‘emerging sounds’.’
    • ‘We joined the ‘Lev Tolstoy’ ship and were welcomed with a piece of rather horrid salted bread and a glass of vodka, followed by some Russian entertainment featuring virtuoso balalaika playing.’
    • ‘On January 15, in Trafalgar Square there will be 500 singers and dancers (all in costume naturally), ice skaters, balalaikas, hot borsch, blini, and pirozhki.’
    • ‘When his mother dies in the beginning of the story, he looks at her abandoned balalaika and hears what will become the incessant ‘Lara's Theme.’’
    • ‘One is a real contrabass balalaika, I brought it from Russia.’
    • ‘‘After the war,’ Brandark murmured, and the balalaika's soft notes were suddenly dark and discordant.’
    • ‘I watched Daniil, as I was sitting down the table from him, as he strummed the balalaika's strings like stroking a lover's hand.’
    • ‘It buzzes with life every night, and features a band with a phenomenal balalaika player that has practically everyone on their feet cheering.’

Origin

Late 18th century: from Russian, of Tatar origin.

Pronunciation:

balalaika

/ˌbaləˈlīkə/