[ sawl-ter ]
/ ˈsɔl tər /


the Biblical book of Psalms.
(sometimes lowercase) a psalmbook.

Origin of Psalter

before 900; < Late Latin psaltērium the Psalter, Latin: a psaltery < Greek psaltḗrion stringed instrument; replacing Middle English sauter (< Anglo-French < Late Latin) and Old English saltere (< Late Latin, as above) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for psalter

British Dictionary definitions for psalter


/ (ˈsɔːltə) /


another name for Psalms, esp in the version in the Book of Common Prayer
a translation, musical, or metrical version of the Psalms
a devotional or liturgical book containing a version of Psalms, often with a musical setting

Word Origin for Psalter

Old English psaltere, from Late Latin psaltērium, from Greek psaltērion stringed instrument, from psallein to play a stringed instrument
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

Word Origin and History for psalter



"the Book of Psalms," Old English saltere, psaltere, from Church Latin psalterium "the songs of David," in secular Latin, "stringed instrument played by twanging," from Greek psalterion "stringed instrument, psaltery, harp," from psallein "to pluck, play on a stringed instrument" (see psalm).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper