Mbira definition

ĕm-bîrə, əm-
A hand-held African musical instrument consisting of a series of metal or wooden strips mounted on a soundboard and, often, having a resonator formed from a gourd: it is played by plucking the strips with the thumbs and forefingers.
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(music, in southern Africa) Any of several musical instruments, similar to a marimba, having a small sound box fitted with a row of tuned tabs that are plucked with the thumbs.
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A musical instrument consisting of a hollow gourd or wooden resonator and a number of usually metal strips that vibrate when plucked.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
mbira
Plural:
mbiras

Origin of mbira

  • Of Bantu origin Shona m-bìrà

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