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See also: Zither


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A zither


Borrowed from German Zither, from Old High German zithara, from Latin cithara, from Ancient Greek κιθάρα (kithára, a kind of harp). Doublet of cithara, cither, and guitar.



zither (plural zithers)

  1. (music) A musical instrument consisting of a flat sounding box with numerous strings placed on a horizontal surface, played with a plectrum or fingertips.
  2. (music, translations) Related or similar instruments in other cultures, such as the Chinese guqin or Norwegian harpeleik; especially any chordophone without a neck, and with strings that pass over the body.

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zither (third-person singular simple present zithers, present participle zithering, simple past and past participle zithered)

  1. To play a zither.
    • 1892, Edmund Gosse, The Secret of Narcisse, New York: United States Book Company, Chapter 3, pp. 100, 102,[1]
      [] the fluting began again. Not alone this time, but, to Rosalie’s infinite surprise, accompanied on a zither. [] At this moment the fluting and zithering began again.
    • 1906, William John Locke, The Belovéd Vagabond, New York: John Lane, 1911, Chapter 9, pp. 120-121,[2]
      We wandered and fiddled and zithered and tambourined through France till the chills and rains of autumn rendered our vagabondage less merry.
    • 1999, Richard Hacken (translator), “Mary in Misery” by Peter Rosegger in Into the Sunset: Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Austrian Prose, Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, pp. 413-414,[3]
      We traveled far and wide: he played the zither while I sang an accompaniment. [] He keeps zithering, and I sing like before, and before long we’ve put together a pretty good pile of money . . .
  2. To make a sound similar to that made by a zither; to move while making such a sound.
    • c. 1890, May Ostlere, Dead! London: Trischler, Chapter 3, p. 76,[4]
      Now [the wind] swithered through the badly-fixed windows, making zithering sounds as of an army of cold and frozen-out mosquitoes []
    • 1956, Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals, Penguin, 2000, Part Two, Chapter 10, p. 123,[5]
      The olives seemed weighed down under the weight of their fruit, smooth drops of green jade among which the choirs of cicadas zithered.
    • 1985, Kim Chapin, Dogwood Afternoons, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Chapter 19, p. 178,[6]
      Once I owned a bike [] It had no fenders and one gear only, and on the forks, both fore and aft, I clipped some plastic playing cards to zither loudly through the spokes.
    • 1996, Carl Huberman, Eminent Domain, London: Macmillan, Chapter 38, p. 328,[7]
      ‘Look at that!’ she shouted, already backing up the Jeep, its tyres zithering on the crusty surface.
    • 2004, Matt Braun, Black Gold, New York: St Martin’s Paperbacks, Chapter Fifteen, p. 158,[8]
      The other men opened fire with pistols, slugs zithering past him with a dull whine.