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A Russian musical instrument with a triangular body and three strings that produces sounds similar to those of a mandolin.

[Russian balalaĭka, alteration of earlier balabaĭka : bala-, onomatopoeia imitative of prattling talk (as in balagurit', to joke, jest (the balalaika traditionally being played to accompany singers of tales)) + baĭka, fantastic tale, anecdote (from bayat', to say speak, from Old Russian bayati; see bhā- in Indo-European roots).]


(Instruments) a plucked musical instrument, usually having a triangular body and three strings: used chiefly for Russian folk music
[C18: from Russian]


(ˌbæl əˈlaɪ kə)

n., pl. -kas.
a Russian stringed instrument with a triangular body and a guitarlike neck.
[1780–90; < Russian]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.balalaika - a stringed instrument that has a triangular body and three stringsbalalaika - a stringed instrument that has a triangular body and three strings
chordophone - a stringed instrument of the group including harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers


[ˌbæləˈlaɪkə] Nbalalaica f


nBalalaika f
References in classic literature ?
All of a sudden there was a great uproar of shouting, singing and the balalaika, and from the tavern a number of big and very drunken peasants came out, wearing red and blue shirts and coats thrown over their shoulders.
Tenders are invited for Purchase of a balalaika, dulcimer, mandolin
This new government, in which L'vov and Guchkov of the Octobrists and Peaceful Renovation Party, yesterdays abettors of Stolypin the Hangman, control the posts of real importance, the crucial posts, the decisive posts, the army and the bureaucracy--this government, in which Miliukov and the other Kadets serve mostly for decoration, for a signboard, for sugary professorial speeches, and the "Trudovik" Kerenskii plays the role of a balalaika for gulling the workers and peasants- M: [In the Pravda version, the word "new" replaces the word "chief" (glavnoe) in Lenin's original.
Et donc, dans ma rue, ce Russe venait jouer de la balalaika (ndlr: instrument a cordes russe) avec des chansons en russe.
As well as displaying a samovar (a traditional teapot), embroidered clothes, a balalaika, photographs, cards and letters the exhibition will also include photographs of the destruction that has taken place in Luhansk over the past few months and individual stories of people's links between the two cities.
The exhibition will include many of the gifts presented to people from Cardiff on their visits to Lugansk, including a samovar (a huge colourful teapot), traditional embroidered clothes and shirts and a balalaika as well as photographs, cards and letters.
To the filmmakers' credit, they don't go so far as to show the Russians dancing to a balalaika by the campfire, but that might only be because there are no campfires on a submarine.
A man strums the balalaika as a hot-air balloon floats aloft; Admiral George Dewey--the hero of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War--and a Russian folk dancer flank a pair of American flags; a circus performer balances on horseback as a tennis player prepares to return a ball.
There is a great cast of supporting characters such as Danny's granny, Lydia, who does head standing yoga and belly dancing, and Miss Balalaika from Petersburg who lives upstairs with her Arthur (arthritis), eats Chum dog food, and looks out for Danny with her cries of 'Oi Vey.
Composer Nigel Hess has done a brilliant job reflecting the musical styles of the prewar period, from an Ivor Novello-eque ballad performed by Spanish traveller Don Armado and servant Moth, to the Gilbert and Sullivan inspired operetta in the Nine Worthies sequence, a real balalaika for the Russian dance and music hall.
Siverko Dance Ensemble from Russia, which was founded in 1976 and first came to the Billingham festival in 1987, are accompanied by a harmonica, balalaika, reed pipe and domra.
Putin played all the strings of the balalaika in his speech Tuesday announcing the annexation of Crimea.