zith·​er | \ ˈzi-t͟hər How to pronounce zither (audio) , -thər How to pronounce zither (audio) \

Definition of zither

: a stringed instrument having usually 30 to 40 strings over a shallow horizontal soundboard and played with pick and fingers

Illustration of zither

Illustration of zither

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Other Words from zither

zitherist \ ˈzi-​t͟hə-​rist How to pronounce zither (audio) , -​thə-​ How to pronounce zither (audio) \ noun

Examples of zither in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Girl with the Flaxen Hair between themselves, vocalist Alexander scraped a baby-blue hair pick along the strings of a dulcimer (a type of zither) and all three clacked hair straighteners and threw curlers at each other, among other actions. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 20 Oct. 2020 She was survived by her son Walter who was a vocalist, voice teacher and zither player. Lauren Young, oregonlive, 17 Oct. 2020 Composer Anton Karas played the entire thing on the zither. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 6 Sep. 2020 Ak Dan Gwang Chil Ak Dan Gwang Chil from South Korea draws on folk (minyo) and ritual (gut) styles from what is now western North Korea, and performed at Globalfest on traditional Korean instruments: zithers, flutes, drums, gongs. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2020 One writes, one paints, one plays the zither in order to perfect one’s character, to attain moral fulfillment by ensuring that one’s individual humanity is in harmony with the rhythms of universal creation. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2019 The 15th annual bash as interpreted by Funky Buddha will feature live music and dance from Alpine Express Band, the Auerhahn Schuhplattlers and yodeler-zither-accordion player Sepp Diepolder. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, 27 Sep. 2019 Some of the best folk and Americana artists have performed on the venue’s stage, beneath a dusty banjo and a trumpet in a low building where zithers and harps were once made. Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2019 At this rate, everyone will soon be pairing their Batsheva dresses with a zither. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, 15 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zither.' 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 zither

1831, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zither

German, from Old High German zitara, cithara, from Latin cithara cithara — more at cither

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zither.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zither. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for zither



English Language Learners Definition of zither

: a musical instrument that has strings stretched across a shallow wooden box and that is played with your fingers or a pick


zith·​er | \ ˈzi-t͟hər How to pronounce zither (audio) , -thər \

Kids Definition of zither

: a musical instrument with usually 30 to 40 strings that are plucked with the fingers or with a pick

More from Merriam-Webster on zither

Nglish: Translation of zither for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zither


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