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From Old French psalterie, from Latin psalterium, from Ancient Greek ψαλτήριον (psaltḗrion, stringed instrument, psaltery, harp), from ψάλλω (psállō, to touch sharply, to pluck, to pull, to twitch) and in the case of the strings of musical instruments, “to play a stringed instrument with the fingers, and not with the plectron”.


psaltery (plural psalteries)

  1. An ancient musical instrument, similar to a dulcimer or a zither, and played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.
    And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. (Nehemiah 12:27, KJV)

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