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[muh-rah-kuh, -rak-uh] /məˈrɑ kə, -ˈræk ə/
a gourd or a gourd-shaped rattle filled with seeds or pebbles and used, often in a pair, as a rhythm instrument.
Origin of maraca
1815-25; < Portuguese < Tupi maráka Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for maracas
  • The drums are accompanied by the rhythmical beating of the sticks and maracas.
  • The five-piece set consists of a xylophone, tambourine, harmonica and two maracas.
  • Participants sing and play instruments, such as guitars, tambourines and maracas.
  • maracas can be made by covering the ends of a toilet paper roll with paper and putting beans or rice inside.
British Dictionary definitions for maracas


a percussion instrument, usually one of a pair, consisting of a gourd or plastic shell filled with dried seeds, pebbles, etc. It is used chiefly in Latin American music
Word Origin
C20: Brazilian Portuguese, from Tupi
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for maracas

see maraca.



gourd rattle used as a percussion instrument, 1813, from Portuguese, from Brazilian native name.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for maracas



A woman's breasts; boob: gams and a pair of maracas that will haunt me in my dreams (1939+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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