[ sawl-tuh-ree ]
/ ˈsɔl tə ri /

noun, plural psal·ter·ies.

an ancient musical instrument consisting of a flat sounding box with numerous strings which are plucked with the fingers or with a plectrum.
(initial capital letter) the Psalter.

Nearby words

  1. psalmody,
  2. psalms,
  3. psalms, book of,
  4. psalter,
  5. psalterium,
  6. psammite,
  7. psammitic,
  8. psammo-,
  9. psammocarcinoma,
  10. psammoma

Origin of psaltery

1300–50; Middle English sautrie < Middle French sauter(i)e < Late Latin psaltērium; see Psalter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for psaltery

British Dictionary definitions for psaltery


/ (ˈsɔːltərɪ) /

noun plural -teries

music an ancient stringed instrument similar to the lyre, but having a trapezoidal sounding board over which the strings are stretched

Word Origin for psaltery

Old English: see Psalter

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 psaltery



"ancient stringed instrument," c.1300, from Old French psalterie (12c.), from Latin psalterium "stringed instrument," from Greek psalterion "stringed instrument," from psallein "play on a stringed instrument, pull, pluck" (see psalm).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper