[ struhm ]
/ strʌm /

verb (used with object), strummed, strum·ming.

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.

verb (used without object), strummed, strum·ming.

to play on a stringed musical instrument by running the fingers lightly across the strings.


the act of strumming.
the sound produced by strumming.

Nearby words

  1. structureless,
  2. strudel,
  3. struggle,
  4. struggle bus,
  5. struggle for existence,
  6. struma,
  7. struma lymphomatosa,
  8. struma ovarii,
  9. strumectomy,
  10. strumiform

Origin of strum

1765–75; perhaps blend of string and thrum1

Related formsstrum·mer, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for strummer


/ (strʌm) /

verb strums, strumming or strummed

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
Derived Formsstrummer, noun

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

Word Origin and History for strummer



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