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From Middle English cymbal, from Old English cimbal, cimbala and Old French cimbale, both from Latin cymbalum (cymbal), from Ancient Greek κύμβαλον (kúmbalon), from κύμβη (kúmbē, bowl). See also chime.



A cymbal on a stand.

cymbal (plural cymbals)

  1. (music) A concave plate of brass or bronze that produces a sharp, ringing sound when struck: played either in pairs, by striking them together, or singly by striking with a drumstick or the like.
    • 1605–08, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act V, sc. 3:
      The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
      Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans,
      Make the sun dance.
    • 1611, King James Version, 1 Corinthians 13:1:
      Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    • 1675, John Dryden, Aureng-zebe, Act V:
      Trumpets and Drums shall fright her from the Throne,
      As sounding Cymbals aid the lab'ring Moon.
    • 1881–82, Walt Whitman, The Leaves of Grass, "The Mystic Trumpeter":
      I see the Crusaders' tumultuous armies—hark, how the cymbals clang ...

Derived terms[edit]




cymbal c

  1. cymbal
  2. dulcimer


Declension of cymbal 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative cymbal cymbalen cymbaler cymbalerna
Genitive cymbals cymbalens cymbalers cymbalernas