Etymology
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hurdy-gurdy (n.)

"droning instrument played with a crank," 1749, perhaps imitative of the sound of the instrument and influenced by c. 1500 hirdy-girdy "uproar, confusion." Originally a type of drone-lute played by turning a wheel.

updated on October 10, 2017

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Definitions of hurdy-gurdy from WordNet

hurdy-gurdy (n.)
a stringed instrument that produces sounds by means of a wheel that rubs against the strings;
Synonyms: hurdy gurdy / wheel fiddle
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.