plec·​trum ˈplek-trəm How to pronounce plectrum (audio)
plural plectra ˈplek-trə How to pronounce plectrum (audio) or plectrums

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Steiner stared across the creek and raised his right arm into an L, clasping a coaster-size sliver of shale the way a guitarist might hold a plectrum during a showstopping solo. Sean Williams, Outside Online, 20 Sep. 2022 Fleck, whose Flecktones brought bluegrass into the modern era, plays much like a classical guitarist, using the right-hand plectrum technique popularized by Nashville’s Earl Scruggs. oregonlive, 28 Jan. 2020 Where Herrington deftly embellished and added new parts to solos originally recorded on Steely Dan albums by such plectrum masters as Larry Carlton and Elliott Randall, O’Connor generally played his parts by the book. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2019 People tend to get hung up on the technical side of Montgomery's playing: his parallel octaves, his use of the thumb rather than a plectrum. John Corbett, Chicago Reader, 29 Aug. 2017

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

Word History


Latin, from Greek plēktron, from plēssein to strike — more at plaint

First Known Use

1608, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of plectrum was in 1608

Dictionary Entries Near plectrum

Cite this Entry

“Plectrum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


plec·​trum ˈplek-trəm How to pronounce plectrum (audio)
plural plectra -trə How to pronounce plectrum (audio) or plectrums

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