[ 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 formszith·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 Formszitherist, 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

Word Origin and History for zither



stringed musical instrument, 1850, from German Zither, from Old High German zitara, from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara "lute" (see guitar).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper