Definition of tamboura in English:


Syllabification: tam·bou·ra
Pronunciation: /tamˈbo͝orə
(also tambura)


  • 1A large four-stringed lute used in Indian music as a drone accompaniment.
    More example sentences
    • She uses the oud (a Middle Eastern lute) and the tamboura (an Indian guitar) which speak to her unique personality and creativity.
    • She had her guru's blessings in Lakshmi and Saraswati, the tamburas flanking her on the stage, his gifts.
    • Facial make-up, mehendi and impressive costumes enhance the expressive powers of classical dancers, as they unravel a tale of folklore and mythology to the accompaniment of sitar, flute, harmonium, tabla and tambura.
  • 2A long-necked lute or mandolin of Balkan countries.
    More example sentences
    • It is played on instruments that include the gaida, kaval (seven-hole reed pipe), gadulka (pear-shaped fiddle), tambura (fretted lute), and tupan (cylindrical drum).
    • This is a compilation of insane rhythms, twisting harmonies, and beguiling colours: the plucked zither-like tambura, the gipsy cimbalom, the dark clarinet-like tárogáto.
    • Overall, however, the sound is distinctive thanks to a bold, and highly successful, effort to include traditional Balkan folk instruments, such as the tupan or the tamboura.


late 16th century (denoting a type of long-necked lute): from Arabic ṭanbūr or Persian tunbūra, both from Persian dunbara, literally 'lamb's tail'.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody