sistrum

noun

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sistrum

Cite this Entry

“Sistrum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sistrum. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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