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: 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
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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
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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
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to deposit or conceal in a hiding place
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