zither

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zith·er

 (zĭth′ər, zĭth′-) also zith·ern (-ərn)
n.
A musical instrument composed of a flat sound box with about 30 to 40 strings stretched over it and played horizontally with the fingertips, a plectrum, or a bow, or set into vibration by the wind, as in the Aeolian harp.

[German, from Middle High German *zitter, from Old High German zitera, from Latin cithara, cithara, from Greek kitharā.]

zith′er·ist n.

zither

(ˈzɪðə)
n
(Instruments) a plucked musical instrument consisting of numerous strings stretched over a resonating box, a few of which may be stopped on a fretted fingerboard
[C19: from German, from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara]
ˈzitherist n

zith•er

(ˈzɪθ ər, ˈzɪð-)

n.
a musical instrument, consisting of a flat sounding box with strings stretched over it, that is placed on a horizontal surface and played with a plectrum and the fingertips.
[1840–50; < German < Latin cithara < Greek kithárá; see kithara]
zith′er•ist, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.zither - a musical stringed instrument with strings stretched over a flat sounding boardzither - a musical stringed instrument with strings stretched over a flat sounding board; it is laid flat and played with a plectrum and with fingers
dulcimer - a trapezoidal zither whose metal strings are struck with light hammers
stringed instrument - a musical instrument in which taut strings provide the source of sound
Translations
citera
citer
sitra
citera
sítar
cithara
ţiteră
citra
citre
cittra

zither

[ˈzɪðəʳ] Ncítara f

zither

[ˈzɪðər] ncithare f

zither

nZither f

zither

[ˈzɪðəʳ] ncetra
References in classic literature ?
At another time he devoted himself entirely to music, and in a long latticed room, with a vermilion-and-gold ceiling and walls of olive-green lacquer, he used to give curious concerts in which mad gipsies tore wild music from little zithers, or grave, yellow-shawled Tunisians plucked at the strained strings of monstrous lutes, while grinning Negroes beat monotonously upon copper drums and, crouching upon scarlet mats, slim turbaned Indians blew through long pipes of reed or brass and charmed-- or feigned to charm--great hooded snakes and horrible horned adders.
So he used to wander to the neighborhood of the Lei, evenings, with his Zither and "Express his Longing in low Singing," as Garnham says.
An unintentional cry of Joy escaped the Youth, he let his Zither fall, and with extended arms he called out the name of the enigmatical Being, who seemed to stoop lovingly to him and beckon to him in a friendly manner; indeed, if his ear did not deceive him, she called his name with unutterable sweet Whispers, proper to love.
It was on the evening before his departure, as he wished still once to visit the Lei and offer to the Nymph of the Rhine his Sighs, the tones of his Zither, and his Songs.
I fain would take the zither, By some stray fancy led; But there are none to hear me, And who can charm the dead?
Albrecht--there was a man named Albrecht--played the zither and improvised; I keep on wondering what has happened to him.
Obviously if you see them live, the effort will be apparent - it's impossible to disguise percussive zithers, furiously strummed guitars and pedal steels that build and swirl into a cacophony.
These may be viewed in the context of zither-making in the nineteenth century, in which the Lohengrin motive was often used as a representative and illustrative decoration on zithers.