dulcimer

[ duhl-suh-mer ]
/ ˈdʌl sə mər /

noun

Also called hammered dulcimer, hammer dulcimer. a trapezoidal zither with metal strings that are struck with light hammers.
Also called mountain dulcimer. a modern folk instrument related to the guitar and plucked with the fingers.

Origin of dulcimer

1560–70; alteration of Middle English dowcemere < Middle French doulcemer, dissimilated variant of doulcemele < Old Italian dolcimelo, dolzemele < Latin dulce melos sweet song. See dulcet, melic
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British Dictionary definitions for dulcimer

dulcimer

/ (ˈdʌlsɪmə) /

noun music

a tuned percussion instrument consisting of a set of strings of graduated length stretched over a sounding board and struck with a pair of hammers
an instrument used in US folk music, consisting of an elliptical body, a fretted fingerboard, and usually three strings plucked with a goose quill

Word Origin for dulcimer

C15: from Old French doulcemer, from Old Italian dolcimelo, from dolce sweet, from Latin dulcis + -melo, perhaps from Greek melos song
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