viol

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Related to Viols: Basse de viole

vi·ol

 (vī′əl)
n.
1. Any of a family of stringed instruments, chiefly of the 1500s and 1600s, having a fretted fingerboard, usually six strings, and a flat back and played with a curved bow.

[Alteration of Middle English viel, from Old French viole, vielle, from Old Provençal viola; see viola1.]

viol

(ˈvaɪəl)
n
(Instruments) any of a family of stringed musical instruments that preceded the violin family, consisting of a fretted fingerboard, a body rather like that of a violin but having a flat back and six strings, played with a curved bow. They are held between the knees when played and have a quiet yet penetrating tone; they were much played, esp in consorts, in the 16th and 17th centuries
[C15: from Old French viole, from Old Provençal viola; see viola1]

vi•ol

(ˈvaɪ əl)

n.
a bowed musical instrument, differing from the violin in having deeper ribs, sloping shoulders, a greater number of strings, usu. six, and frets: common in the 16th and 17th centuries in various sizes from the treble viol to the bass viol.
[1475–85; < Middle French viole (akin to Old French viel(l)e> earlier E viele) < Old Provençal viola, derivative of violar to play the viol or a similar instrument (perhaps imitative)]
vi′ol•ist, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.viol - any of a family of bowed stringed instruments that preceded the violin familyviol - any of a family of bowed stringed instruments that preceded the violin family
bowed stringed instrument, string - stringed instruments that are played with a bow; "the strings played superlatively well"
viola da braccio - a member of the viol family with approximately the range of a viola
bass viol, gamba, viola da gamba - viol that is the bass member of the viol family with approximately the range of the cello
viola d'amore - viol that is the tenor of the viol family
Translations

viol

[ˈvaɪəl] Nviola f

viol

[ˈvaɪəl] nviole f

viol

nViola f
References in classic literature ?
These descendants of the sect of Zoroaster--the most thrifty, civilised, intelligent, and austere of the East Indians, among whom are counted the richest native merchants of Bombay--were celebrating a sort of religious carnival, with processions and shows, in the midst of which Indian dancing-girls, clothed in rose-coloured gauze, looped up with gold and silver, danced airily, but with perfect modesty, to the sound of viols and the clanging of tambourines.
And her eyes should be my light while the sun went out behind me, And the viols in her voice be the last sound in my ear.
There are viols in your voice," he said bluntly, and his eyes flashed their golden light.
Lifting his hand to his head, the absent-minded Professor gravely felt and removed the little cocked hat, looked at it a minute, and then threw back his head and laughed like a merry bass viol.
We got rid of all gloom in the excitement of the exercise, and our pleasure was increased by the arrival of the Gimmerton band, mustering fifteen strong: a trumpet, a trombone, clarionets, bassoons, French horns, and a bass viol, besides singers.
They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute.
Immediately a prelude of pipe, cithern, and viol, touched with practised minstrelsy, began to play from a neighboring thicket, in such a mirthful cadence that the boughs of the Maypole quivered to the sound.
Madame had never been able to extract four correct notes from either viol or harpsichord.
Why, yes," said Robert Danforth, his strong voice filling the shop as with the sound of a bass viol, "I consider myself equal to anything in the way of my own trade; though I should have made but a poor figure at yours with such a fist as this," added he, laughing, as he laid his vast hand beside the delicate one of Owen.
No rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town; But light from out the lurid sea Streams up the turrets silently - Gleams up the pinnacles far and free - Up domes - up spires - up kingly halls - Up fanes - up Babylon-like walls - Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers Of scultured ivy and stone flowers - Up many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathed friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Walking on tiptoe round the bushes, he stood in amazement to see two men bounding about on their heads, while they played, the one a viol and the other a pipe, as merrily and as truly as though they were seated in a choir.
Herbert was very fond of music; he sang, and played too, upon the lute and viol.