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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.]
1. (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 strings Milton.
Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things.
&hand_; 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. [Written also voyal, and voyal.] Totten.