\ ˈstrəm How to pronounce strum (audio) \

Definition of strum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act, instance, or sound of strumming


strummed; strumming

Definition of strum (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to brush the fingers over the strings of (a musical instrument) in playing strum a guitar also : thrum entry 1 sense 1
b : to play (music) on a stringed instrument strum a tune
2 : to cause to sound vibrantly winds strummed the rigging— H. A. Chippendale

intransitive verb

1 : to strum a stringed instrument
2 : to sound vibrantly

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Other Words from strum


strummer noun

Examples of strum in a Sentence

Verb He strummed a tune on the guitar.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Clubs from the Twin Cities suburbs to the North Shore have regularly met to play together; now the amateur musicians have shifted their strum-and-sings to online platforms and Facebook Live. Kevyn Burger Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Housebound Minnesotans are picking up the easy-to-learn ukulele," 18 Nov. 2020 And that ringing strum just might be the Big Bang of the Los Angeles recorded music industry. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, "L.A.’s evolution as a music powerhouse may have started earlier than we think," 12 Nov. 2020 The 10-song set genre-hops from The Cure shadows to Muscle Shoals soul to Johnny Cash strum. Matt Wake |, al, "Next wave Alabama musicians: From jingles to indie-rock," 4 Nov. 2020 On the downward strum, use the back of your index finger — the nail, really. Washington Post, "After cancer, she taught herself to play the ukulele. Now, followers are asking for tips.," 1 Oct. 2020 The Duke’s eye would have been drawn to the sensitivity and animation of the face, but also to the delicacy and articulation of the hands, shown mid-strum on the instrument. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Fuller Picture of Artemisia Gentileschi," 28 Sep. 2020 The latest AirPods seamlessly reproduce every note, strum, hit or key press on a track. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The best true wireless earbuds of 2020," 28 Aug. 2020 The latest AirPods seamlessly reproduce every note, strum, hit or key press on a track. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The best true wireless earbuds of 2020," 28 Aug. 2020 Pre-pandemic, the excitement came from recorders to play and ukuleles to strum and plastic buckets from Home Depot to bang on. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Music teachers, fearing a lost generation of performers, are forced to improvise," 6 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Buskers strum the soundtrack, as a pop-up art-walk highlights the wares of 20 vendors for your early holiday shopping pleasure. Matt Wake |, al, "Top Huntsville arts/entertainment picks for the week," 2 Dec. 2020 Part of Ballerini's daily routine is grabbing a cup of coffee and heading straight to her oasis space to strum her guitar, waiting for inspiration to strike. Taylyn Washington-harmon,, "How Kelsea Ballerini Turned Her Tiny Closet Into a Perfectly Pink Oasis Space," 18 Sep. 2020 In the video, 2-year-old Stormi is rocking it out on the drums while True and Chicago, both 2, strum purple and green guitars. Georgia Slater,, "Stormi Webster, True Thompson, Chicago West & Dream Kardashian Are the Cutest Family Band," 12 Sep. 2020 The deftest campaigns tended to strum chords of cultural tension, poking at viewers’ preoccupations for light comic relief. Mac Schwerin, The Atlantic, "The Dying Art Form of the TV Commercial," 24 Aug. 2020 And music lovers can strum a Taylor guitar en suite through the guitar concierge program. Connie Dufner, Dallas News, "Texas highways beckon: Doors have flung open to summer vacation and closer-to-home experiences," 24 June 2020 Schneider sometimes hears her up in her room, singing and strumming her ukulele. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Why teens may never be the same after the pandemic," 16 Apr. 2020 Leal, the 6-5 Indiana University recruit, is better known for strumming the nets from the 3-point line than guitar strings. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Mr. Basketball Anthony Leal well-equipped to understand expectations that await at IU," 10 Apr. 2020 The one called Walking Tall stands about 40 feet tall near DART’s Deep Ellum Station; the Waiting on a Train piece shows a robot strumming a guitar. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "Explore Dallas like a visitor and enjoy some safe-distance sightseeing," 14 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of strum


1764, in the meaning defined above


1777, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for strum



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Time Traveler for strum

Time Traveler

The first known use of strum was in 1764

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Statistics for strum

Cite this Entry

“Strum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for strum



English Language Learners Definition of strum

: to play (a guitar or similar instrument) by moving your fingers across the strings
: to play (music) on a guitar, banjo, etc., by moving your fingers over the strings


\ ˈstrəm How to pronounce strum (audio) \
strummed; strumming

Kids Definition of strum

: to play on a stringed instrument by brushing the strings with the fingers strum a guitar

More from Merriam-Webster on strum

Nglish: Translation of strum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strum for Arabic Speakers

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