Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Music An ancient instrument resembling the lyre.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ancient Greek stringed instrument, which could be considered a forerunner of the guitar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the harp.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ancient Greek musical instrument of the lyre class. See lyre.
  • n. [capitalized] In zoology, a genus of prosobranchiate gastropodous mollusks.

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek kithar─ü.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The later form was the so-called cithara, the most common shape of which is that made familiar to all by the pedal piece of the square pianoforte.

    A Popular History of the Art of Music From the Earliest Times Until the Present

  • About the twelfth hour she perceived, in the depths of the sycamore trees, a blind old man with one hand resting on the shoulder of a child who walked before him, while with the other he carried a kind of cithara of black wood against his hip.

    Salammbo

  • The Greeks believed that the cithara had come into Greece as a three-stringed lyre in the ninth century and that it had been developed in Greece itself.

    Archive 2010-08-01

  • Down in the courtyard Adalana played the cithara and Tasatyala tapped on the fingerdrums.

    Wildfire

  • Aghazal played the cithara and sang all the lovely longing thoughts Akantha dared not speak aloud, and Adalana, with her flute, was an impertinent skylark who served as a go-between.

    Wildfire

  • Second would dance, and Third would play the cithara and sing.

    Wildfire

  • And he was an accomplished musician, who years later still fondly recalled the time he had been invited to play the cithara, a forerunner of the guitar, for the queen.

    'The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization'

  • He also happens to be a lifelong student of the history and the historical performance of music; a fan of classical Chinese music and world music; a composer in his own right; and a practicing countertenor who also plays the piano, the classical guitar, the sitar, and an ancient Greek plucked instrument called the cithara.

    Notes from Antiquity

  • The moon rose; then the cithara and the flute began to play together.

    Salammbo

  • This has also been the bank where many, many in the Somalia cithara, about one to two million people abroad have sent remittances back to people and relatives here, often meaning the difference between life and death.

    CNN Transcript Jan 16, 2002

Comments

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  • An ancient Greek stringed instrument, possibly a forerunner of the guitar. Also spelled kithara.

    March 17, 2008