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[muh-rim-buh] /məˈrɪm bə/
a musical instrument, originating in Africa but popularized and modified in Central America, consisting of a set of graduated wooden bars, often with resonators beneath to reinforce the sound, struck with mallets.
Origin of marimba
1695-1705; < Portuguese < Kimbundu or a related Bantu language; akin to kalimba Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for marimba
  • Whether it is being played or not, the marimba is visually appealing.
  • The correction facility has a marimba band but otherwise do not have much access to live music.
British Dictionary definitions for marimba


a Latin American percussion instrument consisting of a set of hardwood plates placed over tuned metal resonators, played with two soft-headed sticks in each hand
Word Origin
C18: of West African origin
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 marimba

1704, from an African language, probably Bantu (cf. Kimbundu and Swahili marimba, malimba, name of a xylophone-like instrument).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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