Definition of cymbal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɪmb(ə)l/


Image of cymbal
A musical instrument consisting of a slightly concave round brass plate which is either struck against another one or struck with a stick to make a ringing or clashing sound.
Example sentences
  • The angels are depicted as playing a collection of musical instruments, including the harp, tambourine, cymbals, lyre and psaltery.
  • We had a very satisfying jam, with bass guitar, theremin and a drum kit minus sticks and cymbals.
  • He created original sounds from his cymbals and skins using sticks, brushes, and even his hands.



Pronunciation: /ˈsɪmb(ə)lɪst/
Example sentences
  • I think that with a little practice, I can be every bit the cymbalist she was, maybe even better.
  • Two or more cymbalists clash brass cymbals together to provide the treble notes of the music.
  • The cymbalist uses the palm of his hand to stop the strings from ringing at the end of the musical phrase.


Old English, from Latin cymbalum, from Greek kumbalon, from kumbē 'cup'; readopted in Middle English from Old French cymbale.

  • The shape of a cymbal is central to its name: it comes via Latin cymbalum from Greek kumbalon, from kumbē ‘cup’. Chime (Middle English) was first recorded as meaning ‘cymbal’ as a noun, and ‘ring out’ as a verb. It is probably the Old English form, cimbal (which would have been pronounced with a ‘ch’ sound, the modern ‘s’ sound coming from French) later interpreted as chime bell.

Words that rhyme with cymbal

Abu Simbel, gimbal, nimble, symbol, thimble, timbal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cym¦bal

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