- an ancient Egyptian percussion instrument consisting of a looped metal frame set in a handle and fitted with loose crossbars that rattle when shaken.
Origin of sistrum
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek seîstron, derivative of seíein to shake (cf. seismic)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sistra
Then, from far away, there came the ghostly music of the sistra.Cleopatra
H. Rider Haggard
These women have one simple answer: "Sistra, they died for their country!"
They call us all "Sistra" and often "Dobra Sistra," which means good sister.
And ever, like an obsession, there was the rattle of the sistra, as though the whole immense temple were rattling.The Tour
The two objects suspended from the belt between the heads recall Hathor's sistra.The Evolution of the Dragon
G. Elliot Smith
- a musical instrument of ancient Egypt consisting of a metal rattle
C14: via Latin from Greek seistron, from seiein to shake
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