Definition of violoncello in US English:


nounPlural violoncellos

  • formal term for cello
    • ‘The compositions on his six CDs feature sitar, flute, clarinet, soprano sax, violin viola, violoncello, contrabass, percussion and electronic devices as well as solo guitar.’
    • ‘It was with great joy that I learned you had composed a work for my instrument, the violoncello.’
    • ‘This piece is not one of his best, although the cellist showed incredible skill on the unruly violoncello, managing to coax the best possible tone in spite of the instrument's limitations.’
    • ‘Just as cello is short for violoncello and kaz (pronounced ‘cuz ‘) is the rarely used symbol for kazoo, piano is actually an abbreviation of pianoforte.’’
    • ‘There is also a separate copy of the solo harpsichord part in a second hand, as well as parts in a third hand with an arrangement of the harpsichord part for solo violin and violoncello.’


Early 18th century: Italian, diminutive of violone (see violone).