• WordNet 3.6
    • n sourdine an organ stop resulting in a soft muted sound
    • n sourdine a mute for a violin
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sourdine Same as mute, 3.
    • n sourdine In the harmonium, a mechanical stop whereby the supply of wind to the lower vibrators is partially cut off, and the playing of full chords softly is facilitated.
    • sourdine Softly played; muted; pathetic.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sourdine sōōr-dēn′ a stop on the harmonium.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—It. sordino, sordo, deaf—L. surdus, deaf.


In literature:

Many are like the music en sourdine of Paul Verlaine in his "Chanson D'Automne" or "Le Piano que Baise une Main Frele.
"Chopin: The Man and His Music" by James Huneker