Definition of viol in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvī(ə)l/


A musical instrument of the Renaissance and baroque periods, typically six-stringed, held vertically and played with a bow.
Example sentences
  • Instrumental support, which mostly doubles the vocal lines, is provided by bamboo flutes, two-stringed viols, lutes, dulcimer, and panpipes, gently seasoned by percussive punctuation.
  • The dozen instrumentalists are busy with recorder, flute, viols, theorbo, harpsichord and organ.
  • The leading early makers of violins, whose potential for rhythmic vitality distinguished them in the Baroque era from the viols preferred in the Renaissance, worked in Verona, Brescia, Venice, and Cremona.


Late 15th century (originally denoting a violinlike instrument): from Old French viele, from Provençal viola; probably related to fiddle.

Words that rhyme with viol

denial, dial, espial, Lyall, mistrial, myall, Niall, phial, trial, vial

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vi·ol

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