sistrum

noun
sis·​trum | \ ˈsistrəm \
plural sistrums\ -​rəmz \ or sistra\ -​rə \

Definition of sistrum

1 : an ancient Egyptian and Roman percussion instrument sacred to the goddesses Hathor and Isis consisting usually of a handle attached to a small metal strip bent into an oblong loop with holes for three or four loose metal rods that jingle when shaken
2 : any of various musical instruments played like a rattle

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 sistrum

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sistrum

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek seistron, from seiein to shake

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sistrum

Time Traveler for sistrum

Time Traveler

The first known use of sistrum was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sistrum

Cite this Entry

“Sistrum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sistrum. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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