or·​ga·​nis·​trum | \ ˌȯ(r)gəˈnistrəm \
plural organistrums

Definition of organistrum

: a large medieval hurdy-gurdy played by two musicians In one scene, the king and queen are playing an organistrum, the predecessor of the minstrels' hurdy-gurdy …— Benito Varela Jácome and A. Rodríguez Gonzáles, Santiago de Compostela, 1978

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of organistrum

1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for organistrum

Medieval Latin, from Latin organum organ

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about organistrum

Time Traveler for organistrum

Time Traveler

The first known use of organistrum was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Statistics for organistrum

Cite this Entry

“Organistrum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

Comments on organistrum

What made you want to look up organistrum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!