zith·er | \ˈzi-t͟hər, -thər \

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, -thə- \ noun

Examples of zither in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Guzheng, also known as a Chinese zither, is an ancient Chinese musical instrument. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 28 May 2018 Kim has expanded the instrument’s associations by playing an electric amplified version of the zither, writing pieces for large multi-instrumental ensembles and cross-cultural collaborations. John Adamian, courant.com, "Jin Hi Kim's One Sky II For Orchestra To Premiere At Wesleyan," 7 Apr. 2018 The 60-string bandura is a zither-like instrument with a crystalline tone. Mark Rapp, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Arts listings for Jan. 12-18: Disney on Ice's "Dare to Dream: at The Q & More," 11 Jan. 2018 But near the end of the show, our waitress donned a traditional gown and played the 21-string gayageum, a kind of zither dating back to medieval times, when her Korean ancestors reigned over part of what is now China. Brook Larmer, New York Times, "North Korea Is No Longer the Hermit Kingdom — but How Long Will China Be Its Lifeline?," 18 Oct. 2017 He was joined by the Kronos Quartet and Van-Anh Vo, a virtuoso on several Vietnamese instruments: a zither; a tunable single-string instrument; a bamboo xylophone; drums; gongs. James R. Oestreich, New York Times, "Review: Kronos Quartet Revisits Vietnam Horror in ‘My Lai’," 28 Sep. 2017 He was joined by the Kronos Quartet and Van-Anh Vo, a virtuoso on several Vietnamese instruments: a zither James R. Oestreich, New York Times, "Review: Kronos Quartet Revisits Vietnam Horror in ‘My Lai’," 28 Sep. 2017 Patented in the 1920s, the odd, if not rare instrument, supposedly combines features of both a ukele (though more likely a zither) and a violin. Annie Gentile, Courant Community, "Flea Market Offers Something For Every Interest," 19 Sep. 2017 On Dec. 8, the band and its symphonic friends recorded this third version, which also boasted a raucous timpani part, played by Mr. McCartney, and an Indian zither, played by George Harrison. Allan Kozinn, New York Times, "George Martin and the Beatles: A Producer’s Impact, in Five Songs," 9 Mar. 2016

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

1850, 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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Time Traveler for zither

The first known use of zither was in 1850

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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, -thər\

Kids Definition of zither

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

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Comments on zither

What made you want to look up zither? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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