Vi"ol(?), n. [F. viole; cf. Pr. viola, viula, Sp., Pg., & It. viola, LL. vitula; of uncertain origin; perhaps from L. vitulari to celebrate a festival, keep holiday, be joyful, perhaps originally, to sacrifice a calf (vitulus; cf. Veal). Cf. Fiddle, Vielle, 2d Viola, Violin.]
(Mus.) A stringed musical instrument formerly in use, of the same form as the violin, but larger, and having six strings, to be struck with a bow, and the neck furnished with frets for stopping the strings.
Me softer airs befit, and softer stringsMilton.
Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things.
The name is now applied as a general term to designate instruments of the violin kind, as tenor viol, bass viol, etc.
2. (Naut.) A large rope sometimes used in weighing anchor.
Vi"o*la(?), n. [L., a violet. See Violet.] (Bot.) A genus of polypetalous herbaceous plants, including all kinds of violets.
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