ETYM Old Eng. cimbale, simbale, Old Fren. cimbale, French cymbale, Latin cymbalum, from Greek kymbalon, from kymbe, kymbos, anything hollow, hollow vessel, basin, akin to Skr. kumbha pot. Related to Chime.
A percussion instrument consisting of a concave brass disk; makes a loud crashing sound when hit with a drumstick or when two are struck together.
Ancient percussion instrument of indefinite pitch, consisting of a shallow circular brass dish suspended at the center; either used in pairs clashed together or singly, struck with a beater. Smaller finger cymbals or crotala, used by Debussy and Stockhausen, are precise in pitch. Turkish or “buzz” cymbals incorporate loose rivets to extend the sound.