Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! JOIN NOW
: a stringed instrument of trapezoidal shape played with light hammers held in the hands
or less commonly
: 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
Recent Examples on the Web
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.
15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
Middle English dowcemere, from Middle French doulcemer, from Old Italian dolcimelo, from dolce sweet, from Latin dulcis
Keep scrolling for more
Resources for dulcimer
Time Traveler for dulcimer
See more words from the same century
More Definitions for 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
See the full definition for dulcimer in the English Language Learners Dictionary
More from Merriam-Webster on dulcimer
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dulcimer
Comments on dulcimer
What made you want to look up dulcimer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
something that serves to warn or remind
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Difficult Vocab Quiz
Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
What exactly is the 'it' being sufficed?
Taking a usage peeve to task
You can't shut them up, but you can label them
The complaint comes first; the suit follows.
And is one way more correct than the others?
The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
Another round of challenging vocab!
(Secret October WOTD Quiz)
SCRABBLE® fans, sharpen your skills!