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

Examples of plectrum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Watson is widely credited with popularizing the guitar style known as flatpicking, a rapid-fire approach to playing notes and chords on guitar strings by use of a plectrum, or guitar pick. Ted Olson, The Conversation, 28 Feb. 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plectrum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on plectrum

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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