1A musical instrument with a droning sound played by turning a handle, which is typically attached to a rosined wheel sounding a series of drone strings, with keys worked by the left hand.‘Leopold Mozart, when he wasn't raising his son Wolfgang Amadeus, wrote several concert works for unusual instruments, including the bagpipes and the hurdy-gurdy.’
- ‘Traditional folk instruments include the bandura, a variety of flutes, various fiddles and basses, drums and rattles, the bagpipe, the hurdy-gurdy, the Jew's harp, and the hammered dulcimer.’
- ‘A dance that probably originated in the Auvergne, where it was accompanied by such folk instruments as the musette or the hurdy-gurdy.’
- ‘The instrument is a hurdy-gurdy, a pear-shaped fiddle having strings that are sounded not by a bow but by the rosined rim of a wooden wheel turned by a handle at the instrument's end.’
- ‘The four-piece Quebecois band will be bringing hurdy-gurdies, fiddles, accordions, guitars, and lots of toe-tapping reels and two-steps to the stage, along with waltzes and ballads that will surely help you shake off the cold.’
- 1.1informal A barrel organ.
Mid 18th century probably imitative of the sound of the instrument.