[ zith-er, zith- ]

  1. 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.

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Origin of zither

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

Other words from zither

  • zith·er·ist, noun

Words Nearby zither

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use zither in a sentence

  • Then, after a long wait, a man begins to play a song on a zither-like instrument, singing an exotic, warbling tune.

    Petra by Night | David Frum | January 3, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • And because we have heard the great organ at Freiburg, shall the sound of Kathi's zither in the alpine hut please us no more?

    Little Rivers | Henry van Dyke
  • Sometimes he would call upon Blanquette to accompany him on her almost forgotten zither.

    The Belovd Vagabond | William J. Locke
  • Every hand was in view, and yet the zither continued to play its weird and wistful little tune.

  • After a long and painful silence the bell tinkled faintly, and as all listened breathlessly the zither began to play.

  • Silent, open-mouthed, staring, Stinchfield heard the zither descend to the table before him.

British Dictionary definitions for zither


/ (ˈzɪðə) /

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

Origin of zither

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

Derived forms of zither

  • zitherist, noun

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