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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. An instrument formerly used which somewhat resembled the violin, having three strings, and being played with a bow.

Alternative forms: rebeck] He turn'd his rebec to a mournful note. (Drayton)

2. A contemptuous term applied to an old woman.

Origin: F, fr. It. Ribeca, ribeba, fr. Ar. Rabab a musical instrument of a round form.