"one of a pair of plates of brass or bronze which, when struck together, produce a sharp, ringing sound," mid-15c., from Old English cimbal and from Old French cymbale (13c.), both from Latin cymbalum, from Greek kymbalon "a cymbal," from kymbe "bowl, drinking cup." This previously has been connected with Sanskrit kumbha-, Avestan xumba- "pot;" Middle Irish comm, cummal. Beekes writes that, for structural reasons, "the word cannot be inherited. It is rather a 'Wanderwort', which fits a vessel term very well."
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