string quartet

a musical composition, usually in three or four movements, for four stringed instruments, typically two violins, viola, and cello.
a first violinist, second violinist, violist, and cellist forming a group for the performance of string quartets and similar music.

1870–75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
string quartet
1.  an instrumental ensemble consisting of two violins, one viola, and one cello
2.  a piece of music written for such a group, usually having the form and commonest features of a sonata

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

string quartet definition

A musical group that includes two violins, a viola, and a cello. The term also refers to a composition written for these four instruments. Many composers, notably Franz Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven, have written string quartets.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It is a favorite pre- and post-dinner gathering spot and often home to recitals by a string quartet.
She is not a refugee from the world of theatre, and she has no unpublished string quartet about wombats up her sleeve.
Describes a pilot independent study course in which students could earn credit through string quartet performance.
Somehow he found time to write a string quartet and a piece for strings and woodwinds.
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