From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Violin \Vi`o*lin"\, n. [It. violino, dim. of viola. See Viol.]
   A small instrument with four strings, played with a bow; a
   [1913 Webster]

   Note: The violin is distinguished for the brilliancy and
         gayety, as well as the power and variety, of its tones,
         and in the orchestra it is the leading and most
         important instrument.
         [1913 Webster]
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