from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An Italian musical instrument of the lute family, but with a flat back and wire strings, like the guitar. It was first used in the sixteenth century.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Yesterday I saw Squid Ink Chitarra on a menu in Jack London Square. It was not a lute, it was a food something.

    October 18, 2015

  • Chitarra is the Italian word for guitar - unsurprisingly. However in this contect it is a reference to the device which was/is used to make pasta in certain parts of Italian - Umbria and Tuscany. It consists of a flat wooden box open at the top and one end. Across the large flat open side there are metal strings strung tautly a few millimeters apart . Pasta is rolled on to the strings which cut it into long spaghetti like pieces, which collect in the box.

    October 18, 2015

  • Thanks, Rowlandwithaw! I had a mushroom pizza instead, so I never saw its appearance.

    I also got stuck thinking about the Chitauri, the alien warriors that attack New York via a portal in The Avengers.

    October 18, 2015