American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Variant of cittern.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musical instrument having metal strings which are played with a plectrum. In medieval times it was a kind of lute or guitar, having 8 strings strung over a neck and a body, and held vertically. In modern times it is a four-sided harp, having between 30 and 40 strings, and laid horizontally upon a table. The melody is played upon strings the length of which may be varied by stopping on a fret-board; the accompaniment is played on open strings. Also cither, zither.
- n. Alternative form of cittern.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. See cittern.
- n. a 16th century musical instrument resembling a guitar with a pear-shaped soundbox and wire strings
“The breeze that stirred the tapestries on the wall brought faint noises from the streets of Peshkhauri - occasional snatches of wailing song, or the thrum of a cithern.”
“She was taught music, and played the lute, harpsichord, and cithern, as well as having a sweet singing voice.”
“Hidden musicians began to play on flute and cithern as Conan entered, and five women, so heavily veiled and swathed in silk that he could see nothing but their dark eyes, began to dance.”
“Many of the merchants 'tents were darkened now, and silence lay even on the picket lines of animals behind each, though the thin sounds of zither and flute, cithern and tambor, drifted from the nobles' portion of the camp.”
“Chapter X The music of cithern, flute and tambour sounded softly in the alabaster-columned chamber, the musicians hidden behind a lacy screen carved of ivory.”
“Sounds floated from other parts of the palace-an indistinguishable murmur of voices, the thrum of a cithern.”
“The breeze that stirred the tapestries on the wall brought faint noises from the streets of Peshkhauri -- occasional snatches of wailing song, or the thrum of a cithern.”
“And there were wont to feed with them, through delight of his lays, both the spotted lynxes, and the bloody troop of lions  came having left the forest of Othrys; disported too around thy cithern, Phœbus, the dappled fawn, advancing with light pastern beyond the lofty-feathered pines, joying in the gladdening strain.”
“J.F. C. Hecker, M.D., in his "Epidemics of the Middle Ages," stated that the music of the flute, cithern or other instrument alone afforded relief to patients affected with this disease.”
“After lunch Sir Charles took Mark to see his library, which reminded him of a Rossetti interior and lacked only a beautiful long-necked creature, full-lipped and auburn-haired, to sit by the casement languishing over a cithern or gazing out through bottle-glass lights at a forlorn and foreshortened landscape of faerie land.”
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