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

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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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Sistrum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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