Hurdy-gurdy definition

hûrdē-gûrdē, hûrdē-gûrdē
Frequency:
A stringed instrument played by turning a rosined wheel with a crank and depressing keys connected to tangents on the strings.
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An instrument, such as a barrel organ, played by turning a crank.
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An early instrument shaped like a lute or viol but played by turning a crank attached to a rosined wheel that causes the strings to vibrate.
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(popularly) A barrel organ.
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(humorous) Sounding like the Swedish language.
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(music) A medieval stringed instrument which has a droning sound. One hand turns a handle connected to a wheel which vibrates the strings, while the other hand plays a keyboard to alter the pitch.
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(music) A barrel organ.
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(US, California) A water wheel with radial buckets, driven by the impact of a jet.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
hurdy-gurdy
Plural:
hurdy-gurdies

Origin of hurdy-gurdy

  • Imitative

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition