Definition of cittern in English:


Syllabification: cit·tern
Pronunciation: /ˈsitərn
(also cithern /ˈsiTHərn, ˈsiT͟H-/)


A stringed instrument similar to a lute, with a flattened back and wire strings, used in 16th- and 17th-century Europe.
More example sentences
  • Viols, rebecs, citterns, lutes, and wooden flutes help.
  • One of the commonest consorts in the Elizabethan period was the combination of treble viol or violin, flute or recorder, bass viol, lute, cittern, and bandora, for which Morley wrote his Consort Lessons in 1599.
  • The only plan we had was to base the album more around the tinkles - the wee guitars, cittern, banjo and mandolin - instead of having lots of flutes and fiddles playing tune bits in the middle of songs.


mid 16th century: from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara, denoting a kind of harp. The spelling has been influenced by gittern.

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rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily