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 (sĭt′ərn) also cith·ern (sĭth′ərn, sĭth′-)
A 16th-century guitar with a flat, pear-shaped body.

[Perhaps blend of Latin cithara, cithara; see cithara, and obsolete English gittern (from Middle English, from Old French guiterne, from Latin cithara).]


(ˈsɪtɜːn) ,




(Instruments) a medieval stringed instrument resembling a lute but having wire strings and a flat back. Compare gittern
[C16: perhaps a blend of cither + gittern]


(ˈsɪt ərn)

an old musical instrument related to the guitar, having a flat, pear-shaped soundbox and wire strings.
[1550–60; perhaps b. Latin cithara kithara and Middle French guiterne gittern]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cittern - a 16th century musical instrument resembling a guitar with a pear-shaped soundbox and wire stringscittern - a 16th century musical instrument resembling a guitar with a pear-shaped soundbox and wire strings
guitar - a stringed instrument usually having six strings; played by strumming or plucking
References in classic literature ?
It chanced that out of one of the bundles there stuck the end of what the clerk saw to be a cittern, so drawing it forth, he tuned it up and twanged a harmony to the merry lilt which the dancers played.
50) Lower down the social scale, there were citterns in barber shops for customers to play, whilst ballads constituted a major cultural form of entertainment; even puritans, hostile to most forms of music, especially dancing, approved of singing psalms.
They've concentrated on their own self-penned songs for the last 15 years, featuring voices, guitars, bouzouki, citterns, dulcimer, concertina, percussion and step dancing.
An English troupe performing in Germany in 1599 is noted as having lutes, citterns, fiddles and pipes, all instruments typical of a tavern or theatre band and commonly found in country festivities throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.