- to play on (a stringed musical instrument) by running the fingers lightly across the strings.
- to produce (notes, a melody, etc.) by such playing: to strum a tune.
- to play on a stringed musical instrument by running the fingers lightly across the strings.
- the act of strumming.
- the sound produced by strumming.
Origin of strum1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to sound (the strings of a guitar, banjo, etc) with a downward or upward sweep of the thumb or of a plectrum
- to play (chords, a tune, etc) in this way
Word Origin for strum
C18: probably of imitative origin; see thrum 1
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
1775, possibly imitative of the sound of running the fingers across the strings of a musical instrument. Related: Strummed; strumming.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper