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 zitherist (audio) , -​thə-​ How to pronounce zitherist (audio) \ noun

Examples of zither in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Cultural Divide: All 77 counties voted for Trump. These musicians are fighting to turn Oklahoma blue," 5 Sep. 2019 At this rate, everyone will soon be pairing their Batsheva dresses with a zither. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Adele Transforms Into Another Famous Country Singer on Instagram," 15 Jan. 2019 Several Malian performers take part in the performance, including Ballaké Sissoko, a virtuoso on the kora (a kind of harp-lute), while the Malagasy musician Rajery plays valiha (Madagascar’s signature bamboo-tube zither). Thomas May, The Seattle Times, "‘The Routes of Slavery’ traces a musical journey of resilience in the face of inhumanity," 31 Oct. 2018 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

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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Statistics for zither

Last Updated

24 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for zither

The first known use of zither was in 1850

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More Definitions for zither


How to pronounce zither (audio) How to pronounce zither (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on zither

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zither

Spanish Central: Translation of zither

Nglish: Translation of zither for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zither

Comments on zither

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to spread as a report or rumor

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