Definition of erhu in English:


(also erh hu)


  • A Chinese two-stringed musical instrument held in the lap and played with a bow.

    • ‘This year's closing festival of Edmonton's busy summer will unite the orchestra with the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese fiddle which is played somewhat like a small cello.’
    • ‘With six musicians playing the erhu, pipa, Chinese flute, zither, moon guitar and trapeziform dulcimer, they call the music that they play sizhu - the traditional word for musical instruments.’
    • ‘They enjoy themselves in singing songs from opera, playing the erhu (a traditional Chinese musical instrument) or practising their calligraphy on the ground with a brush.’
    • ‘The sounds of the erhu and sheng are eerily beautiful against the symphony orchestra, evoking a timeless, ceremonial atmosphere against which the outbursts of percussion feel peremptory, even ill-mannered.’
    • ‘The two-stringed erhu is compared to the violin in sound and status in the music world.’


Early 20th century Chinese, from èr ‘two’ + hú ‘bowed instrument’.