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hurdy-gurdy

Syllabification: hur·dy-gur·dy
Pronunciation: /ˈhərdēˌɡərdē
 
/

Definition of hurdy-gurdy in English:

noun (plural hurdy-gurdies)

1A musical instrument with a droning sound played by turning a handle, which is typically attached to a rosined wheel sounding a series of drone strings, with keys worked by the left hand.
Example sentences
  • Leopold Mozart, when he wasn't raising his son Wolfgang Amadeus, wrote several concert works for unusual instruments, including the bagpipes and the hurdy-gurdy.
  • Traditional folk instruments include the bandura, a variety of flutes, various fiddles and basses, drums and rattles, the bagpipe, the hurdy-gurdy, the Jew's harp, and the hammered dulcimer.
  • A dance that probably originated in the Auvergne, where it was accompanied by such folk instruments as the musette or the hurdy-gurdy.
1.1 informal A barrel organ.

Origin

mid 18th century: probably imitative of the sound of the instrument.

Definition of hurdy-gurdy in:

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