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1. A narrow, often hourglass-shaped stringed instrument having three or four strings and a fretted fingerboard, typically held flat across the knees while sitting and played by plucking or strumming. Also called Appalachian dulcimer, mountain dulcimer.
2. The hammered dulcimer.
[Alteration (influenced by Latin dulcis, sweet) of Middle English doucemer, from Old French doulcemer, doulcemele, probably from Latin dulce melos, sweet song : dulce, neuter of dulcis, sweet + melos, song (from Greek).]
1. (Instruments) a tuned percussion instrument consisting of a set of strings of graduated length stretched over a sounding board and struck with a pair of hammers
2. (Instruments) an instrument used in US folk music, consisting of an elliptical body, a fretted fingerboard, and usually three strings plucked with a goose quill
[C15: from Old French doulcemer, from Old Italian dolcimelo, from dolce sweet, from Latin dulcis + -melo, perhaps from Greek melos song]
dul•ci•mer(ˈdʌl sə mər)
1. a trapezoidal zither with metal strings that are struck with light hammers.
2. a modern folk instrument with three or four strings plucked or strummed with the fingers.
[1560–70; alter. of Middle English dowcemere < Middle French doulcemer, dissimilated variant of doulcemele < early Italian dolcimelo,dolzemele < Latin dulce melos sweet song]
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|Noun||1.||dulcimer - a stringed instrument used in American folk music; an elliptical body and a fretted fingerboard and three strings|
stringed instrument - a musical instrument in which taut strings provide the source of sound
|2.||dulcimer - a trapezoidal zither whose metal strings are struck with light hammers|