Definition of guiro in US English:



  • A musical instrument with a serrated surface that gives a rasping sound when scraped with a stick, originally made from an elongated gourd and used in Latin American music.

    • ‘At this moment, the loudspeakers fill the club with the distinctly raw and powerful tuba, guiro, and tarola (snare drum) sounds of Bostich's hit ‘Polaris.’’
    • ‘It seemed that every bar, no matter how tiny, had wedged a trio of musicians into a corner - one singing, one playing guitar and another scratching out a raspy beat on the guiro, a hollow gourd played with a stick.’
    • ‘Chilean-born Marco Claveria (vocals, tres, guiro, acoustic guitar) was introduced into the mix, then trombonist J.C. Jones was replaced with the duelling brass of Jim and Craig Brenan.’
    • ‘Then there were one or two battered tambourines for those of us who might later on in life decide to join the Salvation Army, and there was a guiro too (very Latin!).’
    • ‘It then simmers down into a spacy section featuring the gongs before the other instruments rejoin with a guiro for the climax.’
    • ‘Larger bands have trumpets and strings as well as extensive percussion sections in which maracas, guiros, and bongos are primary instruments.’
    • ‘Out of the dry, prolonged scraping of six guiros, a stomping ‘Red and black dance’ emerges, and as it crumbles and reconstitutes itself it picks up enormous momentum.’
    • ‘However, the entrance of a clear cumbia rhythmic pattern played by the guiro, as well as a new rhythmic emphasis provided by the congas in measure 9, reverses our rhythmic interpretation of the introductory passage.’


Spanish, ‘gourd’.