vi·o·la /vaɪˈolə, vi; ˈvaɪə-/
Vi·o·la n. Bot. A genus of polypetalous herbaceous plants, including all kinds of violets.
Vi·o·la n. Mus. An instrument in form and use resembling the violin, but larger, and a fifth lower in compass.
Viola da braccio , the tenor viol, or viola, a fifth lower than the violin. Its part is written in the alto clef, hence it is sometimes called the alto. -- Viola da gamba , an instrument resembling the viola, but larger, and held between the knees. It is now rarely used. -- Viola da spalla , an instrument formerly used, resembling the viola, and intermediate in size between the viola and the viola da gamba. -- Viola di amore , a viol, larger than the viola, having catgut strings upon, and brass or steel wires under, the keyboard. These, sounding sympathetically with the strings, yield a peculiarly soft and silvery sound. It is now seldom used.
n 1: any of the numerous plants of the genus Viola
2: large genus of flowering herbs of temperate regions [syn: genus
3: a bowed stringed instrument slightly larger than a violin,
tuned a fifth lower