- a small piece of plastic, metal, ivory, etc., for plucking the strings of a guitar, lyre, mandolin, etc.
- Anatomy, Zoology. an anatomical part resembling a plectrum in shape.
Origin of plectrum
Examples from the Web for plectra
Plectra of leather were also in use, as well as those of quill.Shakespeare and Music
Edward W. Naylor
Each of these jacks has two plectra, one pointing to the right and one to the left.
The plectra nearest the keyboard points the same way whether the jack is upside down or not.
In the clavicytherium at the Smithsonian Institution the plectra nearest the keyboard points to the player's left.
The direction in which the plectra of each row of jacks should be pointing is not known.
- any implement for plucking a string, such as a small piece of plastic, wood, etc, used to strum a guitar, or the quill that plucks the string of a harpsichord
Word Origin and History for plectra
something used to pluck the strings of a musical instrument, 1620s, from Latin plectrum, from Greek plektron "thing to strike with" (pick for a lyre, cock's spur, spear point, etc.), from plek-, root of plessein "to strike" (see plague (n.)).