Main definitions of viola in English

: viola1viola2

viola1

noun

  • An instrument of the violin family, larger than the violin and tuned a fifth lower.

    • ‘The Octet is scored for flute, clarinet, French horn, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano.’
    • ‘It was the composers of the late 18th century who created the precursor of the modern orchestra based on a more standardized string group of two violin parts, violas, cellos, and double bass, still with a keyboard continuo.’
    • ‘As the viola plays a fifth lower than the violin, last-minute transpositions and rethinkings of piano parts were necessary.’
    • ‘She played four different instruments: Piano, violin, viola, and clarinet.’
    • ‘A small band consisting of two violins, a viola, and a cello played near the large glass doors that led to an outdoor veranda.’
    • ‘I once tried to write a string quartet that eliminated violins completely - two violas and two cellos - before my professor made me revise it for the standard combo in the name of greater color variation.’
    • ‘On this recording, there are nine violins, three violas, three cellos, a double bass, one flute, three oboes, one bassoon, three trumpets, a set of timpani, and a harpsichord.’
    • ‘The pupil's ensemble includes violins cellos and violas.’
    • ‘This instrument, designed by Shankar and built by Ken Parker, covers the entire orchestral range, including double-bass, cello, viola and violin.’
    • ‘Pizzicato is when violins, violas, or cellos are played without the bow by plucking the strings sharply.’
    • ‘By the third movement, the violins and violas are passing like ships in the night, the double bass thudding against their hulls as if to mark their dimensional presence.’
    • ‘They hope to take partygoers into the night with a medley of violins, violas, cellos and trumpets.’
    • ‘The performances he delivers are a testimony to his passion for the viola and string instruments in general.’
    • ‘This highly evocative work had a real African feel, conjuring up the jungle sounds of insects and birds on the flute with a tropical hum from the violin, viola and cello.’
    • ‘The best violins, violas and cellos were, for reasons inexplicable, made in Cremona between the middle of the 17th and 18th centuries by Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri and their teacher, Nicolo Amati.’
    • ‘The superb string playing of the New World musicians and the beautifully articulated solos by the first chair violin, viola, and cello principals contributed to a deeply moving interpretation.’
    • ‘The orchestra itself (ten violins, three violas, etc.) is of a healthy (but not anachronistic) size - another plus to this recording.’
    • ‘Among the strings, there are twelve violins, two violas, four cellos, and two double basses.’
    • ‘Perversely, the massed violins, violas and cellos can sometimes sound uncannily like a lone synthesiser.’
    • ‘It is an all-string orchestra - violins, violas, cellos and double bass - based in Castlebar, but including players from around the county.’
    violin, viola, cello, double bass
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 18th century: from Italian and Spanish; compare with viol.

Main definitions of viola in English

: viola1viola2

viola2

noun

  • A plant of a genus that includes the pansies and violets.

    • ‘Tidy up winter containers by deadheading violas and cyclamen and removing dead leaves from ivy and other greenery.’
    • ‘We found some, but not the great swathes that we had hoped for, although we were rewarded by plenty of patches of bluebells, drifts of wood anemones, a glade with masses of milkmaids and lots of primroses, cowslips and violas and bugle.’
    • ‘Hardy spring bedding such as forget-me-nots, primulas, wallflowers, sweet williams and violas can be planted to fill gaps left by the removal of summer bedding.’
    • ‘Brightly coloured violas and begonias peek from every possible spot of dirt.’
    • ‘Deirdre brought out folding tables, covered them with linen tablecloths, and put a pot of white and blue violas on each table.’
    • ‘As the sun sets, white pumpkins and potted white violas capture the fading daylight as no color can.’
    • ‘There are a number of cool-season vegetables to plant, along with flowers such as dianthus, petunias, snapdragons and violas.’
    • ‘I love it when I see violas peeking out around the leaves.’
    • ‘Biennials such as forget-me-not, wallflowers, honesty, violas and pansies need to be sown as soon as possible if they are to have time to grow big enough for planting out in October.’
    • ‘Seed catalogues can usually be relied upon to indicate which pansies and violas are good for most if not all the winters we are likely to experience.’
    • ‘Modern violas and pansies are hybrids of the old-fashioned heartsease Viola tricolor, itself a fitting reminder of this romantic month of the year.’
    • ‘In mild climates, many plants suitable for containers are sold in bloom in fall, including chrysanthemums and violas.’
    • ‘It may be a little early to start summer annuals, but pansies, violas, snapdragons, calendulas and more will go strong until June or even later if planted anew now.’
    • ‘Blue is a harder colour to find in the winter garden but appears in iris, cinerarias, pansies and violas.’
    • ‘Many flowers like bachelor's buttons, violas, calendula, pansies, & roses are edible as well as beautiful.’
    • ‘I also like one colour hanging baskets and tubs: there is nothing prettier than a burst of apricot pansies, lilac violas, or pink pelargoniums.’
    • ‘Cottage gardens usually look their best in early summer, but do include plants that peak at different seasons such as early bulbs, wallflowers and violas for spring, plus penstemons, fuchsias and asters which flower into autumn.’
    • ‘Wallflowers and sweet williams can also be planted out in a mild spell as can other spring bedding such as pansies, violas and primulas.’
    • ‘The white winter flowering heather and pink cyclamen had faded but were soon replaced by violas, primulas and grape hyacinth.’
    • ‘I plant pansies and violas, too, for color now and again in spring.’

Origin

Modern Latin, from Latin, literally violet.