• synonyms


[sis-truh m]
noun, plural sis·trums, sis·tra [sis-truh] /ˈsɪs trə/.
  1. an ancient Egyptian percussion instrument consisting of a looped metal frame set in a handle and fitted with loose crossbars that rattle when shaken.
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Origin of sistrum

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek seîstron, derivative of seíein to shake (cf. seismic)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sistra

Historical Examples of sistra

  • Then, from far away, there came the ghostly music of the sistra.


    H. Rider Haggard

  • These women have one simple answer: "Sistra, they died for their country!"

  • They call us all "Sistra" and often "Dobra Sistra," which means good sister.

  • And ever, like an obsession, there was the rattle of the sistra, as though the whole immense temple were rattling.

    The Tour

    Louis Couperus

  • The two objects suspended from the belt between the heads recall Hathor's sistra.

British Dictionary definitions for sistra


noun plural -tra (-trə)
  1. a musical instrument of ancient Egypt consisting of a metal rattle
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Word Origin for sistrum

C14: via Latin from Greek seistron, from seiein to shake
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