dul·​ci·​mer | \ ˈdəl-sə-mər How to pronounce dulcimer (audio) \

Definition of dulcimer

1 : a stringed instrument of trapezoidal shape played with light hammers held in the hands
2 or less commonly dulcimore \ ˈdəl-​sə-​ˌmȯr How to pronounce dulcimer (audio) \ : an American folk instrument with three or four strings stretched over an elongate fretted sound box that is held on the lap and played by plucking or strumming

Examples of dulcimer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Also featured: the world-renowned glaciologist Richard Alley, with his dulcimer-playing daughter, Karen, and the eminent Adirondack limnologist Curt Stager. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Can Wall Street’s Heaviest Hitter Step Up to the Plate on Climate Change?," 24 Dec. 2020 The Girl with the Flaxen Hair between themselves, vocalist Alexander scraped a baby-blue hair pick along the strings of a dulcimer (a type of zither) and all three clacked hair straighteners and threw curlers at each other, among other actions. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Two area ensembles trace modern classical music’s spirit of innovation," 20 Oct. 2020 Moore found himself in Naselroad's wood shop nearly every day learning how to craft guitars from Appalachian native hardwoods in a town where the mountain dulcimer was first made in the late 1800s. Amy Chillag, CNN, "Making guitars saved a man from opioid addiction. Now others are getting the same help," 18 Sep. 2020 People sang for her and played fiddles and dulcimers; one boy used knitting needles on the neck of his banjo. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 27 Apr. 2020 Roth came to the dulcimer as a kid, after playing piano. John Adamian, courant.com, "Best bets: Our picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 29 Sep. 2019 With Carolyn Brodginski on mandolin and mountain dulcimer, Jeff Gorman's bass and harmonica, Mark Hall’s Cajon (acoustic drum) and Michael Frantzen on fiddle, doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. courant.com, "Community News For The Stafford Edition," 6 Dec. 2019 The pair perform on instruments ranging from guitar, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, and mandolin to tin whistle, harmonica, and limberjacks, and surprise audiences with their interpretation of freestyle Appalachian clog dancing. Robert Knox, BostonGlobe.com, "What’s happening south of Boston," 5 Feb. 2020 Lauper also played the dulcimer throughout the acoustic duet. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Kelly Clarkson Duets with Cyndi Lauper on 'True Colors' and Says It's a 'Dream Come True'," 18 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dulcimer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dulcimer

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dulcimer

Middle English dowcemere, from Middle French doulcemer, from Old Italian dolcimelo, from dolce sweet, from Latin dulcis

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Time Traveler for dulcimer

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The first known use of dulcimer was in 1509

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Cite this Entry

“Dulcimer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dulcimer. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of dulcimer

: a flat musical instrument that has strings stretched across it and is played with two light hammers
: an instrument used in American folk music that has three or four strings, is held on the lap, and is played with the fingers, a pick, or a small stick

More from Merriam-Webster on dulcimer

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dulcimer

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