Viol Definition

Any of an early family of stringed instruments played with a curved bow, characterized generally by six strings, frets, a flat back, and C-shaped sound holes: used chiefly in the 16th and 17th cent. in sizes from the treble viol to the bass viol.
Webster's New World

Origin of Viol

  • Alteration of Middle English viel from Old French viole, vielle from Old Provençal viola viola1

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

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