- 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 plectrum
The Greek harp was played by picking the strings with the fingers or with a plectrum.How the Piano Came to Be
Ellye Howell Glover
To calm himself he drew it to him, took up the plectrum, and began to play.The Bride of the Nile, Complete
Its wire-strings are twanged with a plectrum made of wood and glass.
Rabab, a kind of guitar of the Hindus, played with a plectrum.
In playing it the touching is not done with the fingers, but with a plectrum of ivory.A Japanese Boy
- 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 plectrum
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.)).