cittern

(redirected from citterns)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

cit·tern

 (sĭt′ərn) also cith·ern (sĭth′ərn, sĭth′-)
n.
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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cittern

(ˈsɪtɜːn) ,

cither

or

cithern

n
(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

cit•tern

(ˈsɪt ərn)

n.
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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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.
There are fiddlers, mandolins, penny whistles, Irish pipes, bazoukis, guitars, citterns, banjos, concertinas and enough spoon players to equip a decent-sized kitchen.