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[gi-tahr] /gɪˈtɑr/
a stringed musical instrument with a long, fretted neck, a flat, somewhat violinlike body, and typically six strings, which are plucked with the fingers or with a plectrum.
Origin of guitar
1615-25; < Spanish guitarra < Arabic kītārahGreek kithára kithara Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for guitar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Down the middle of the guitar there is a walled enclosure of the shape of a banjo.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Gino got out a guitar and sang too, sitting out on the loggia.

  • What good fortune it was to have saved your guitar from shipwreck!

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Jackson made a brusque movement, and accidentally touched the guitar.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • This, from the moment we had heard Manuel's guitar, had been my idea.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
British Dictionary definitions for guitar


(music) a plucked stringed instrument originating in Spain, usually having six strings, a flat sounding board with a circular sound hole in the centre, a flat back, and a fretted fingerboard. Range: more than three octaves upwards from E on the first leger line below the bass staff See also electric guitar, bass guitar, Hawaiian guitar
Derived Forms
guitarist, noun
guitar-like, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish guitarra, from Arabic qītār, from Greek kitharacithara
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for guitar

1620s, ultimately from Greek kithara "cithara," a stringed musical instrument related to the lyre, perhaps from Persian sihtar (see sitar); the name reached English several times, including early 14c. giterne, in reference to various stringed, guitar-like instruments; the modern word is directly from Spanish guittara, from Arabic qitar, from the Greek.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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guitar in Culture

guitar definition

A stringed musical instrument (see strings) usually played by strumming or plucking. Guitars are widely used in folk music and, often amplified electronically, in country and western music and rock 'n' roll.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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