[ zith-er, zith- ]
/ ˈzɪθ ər, ˈzɪð- /


a musical instrument, consisting of a flat sounding box with numerous strings stretched over it, that is placed on a horizontal surface and played with a plectrum and the fingertips.

Origin of zither

1840–50; < German < Latin cithara < Greek kithárá; see kithara

Related forms

zith·er·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zither

British Dictionary definitions for zither


/ (ˈzɪðə) /


a plucked musical instrument consisting of numerous strings stretched over a resonating box, a few of which may be stopped on a fretted fingerboard

Derived Forms

zitherist, noun

Word Origin for zither

C19: from German, from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara
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