Definition of violin in English:



  • A stringed musical instrument of treble pitch, played with a horsehair bow. The classical European violin was developed in the 16th century. It has four strings and a body of characteristic rounded shape, narrowed at the middle and with two f-shaped sound holes.

    • ‘And they sing and play oboes and clarinets and violins and cellos and recorders on through the late afternoon in a warm, close auditorium.’
    • ‘Two thirds of the children had some musical experience and those with orchestral skills played violins, clarinets, cellos, flutes and saxophones.’
    • ‘For three minutes, violins slowly weep, guitars are slowly strummed, and falsetto harmonies are echoed into oblivion.’
    • ‘Oboes, flutes and violins flutter over acoustic guitar, the foundation of most songs on this CD.’
    • ‘The real stars for me were four young girls playing classical music on three violins and a cello outside Betty's Café.’
    • ‘An odd looking assembly of musicians then clutter the Hollow's general performing area sporting several guitars, violins and a couple of disconcerting beards.’
    • ‘They hope to take partygoers into the night with a medley of violins, violas, cellos and trumpets.’
    • ‘Heavy, overbearing guitars clash with feeble pianos, annoying violins, and misplaced horns.’
    • ‘The violins send you to a spooky gothic period and the guitar adds substance to the track.’
    • ‘She sang as a child, took classical voice lessons and played both the piano and the violin.’
    • ‘The violins, viola and cello were played with great vigour, intensity and lyrical beauty.’
    • ‘These are songs built around a yearning violin, a plucky banjo riff or an accordion sigh.’
    • ‘She nodded, but continued to watch the four women in their smart black dresses playing violins, viola and cello.’
    • ‘The bows of the cellos, violins and double-basses seem to caress your heart strings and not those of their instruments.’
    • ‘Other creations include a retooled vintage piano, violins, wooden bells and a harp.’
    • ‘The festivities were just starting, and the strings of violins could be heard even outside the party.’
    • ‘Cellos, violins, violas and flutes are used to frame Antony's voice and piano, and torch songs such as ‘My Lady Story’ feel exquisitely sad.’
    • ‘Mark Kelly's guitar added soul to the group as he bashed out a harmonious antidote to the high pitch of the violins.’
    • ‘Some of the prisoners did find time to make musical instruments such as violins from the dismantled hulls of sunken boats and hard wood salvaged from collapsed buildings.’
    • ‘There was music in the background, But it wasn't tambourines or wild violins.’
    violin, viola, cello, double bass
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Italian violino, diminutive of viola (see viola).