Definition of strum in English:

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Pronunciation: /strəm/

verb (strums, strumming, strummed)

[with object]
1Play (a guitar or similar instrument) by sweeping the thumb or a plectrum up or down across the strings.
Example sentences
  • He placed his fingers on some strings, and strummed the instrument.
  • He began to strum his guitar strings gently to the tune of ‘Meant For You.’
  • I followed the sound of his fingers strumming the guitar strings and his smooth voice singing lyrics that I couldn't understand.
1.1Play (a tune) by strumming the strings of a guitar or similar instrument: he strummed a few chords
More example sentences
  • He strummed a slow tune, his rich baritone filling the air.
  • I'm strumming a tune on my morin khuur and I'm reading DC Comics Superman / Batman #17.
  • Before long he looked up and strummed a little tune like he had at the café when I'd been severely annoyed.
1.2 [no object] Play casually or unskillfully on a stringed or keyboard instrument.
Example sentences
  • He picked up his guitar and started strumming away while singing his song.
  • "That stuff don't matter, " I'd say as I strummed away.
  • She nodded, her fingers still strumming lazily.


[in singular]
1The sound made by strumming a guitar or similar instrument: the brittle strum of acoustic guitars
More example sentences
  • Their conversation was interrupted by a strum on an acoustic guitar.
  • The song begins slowly and reflectively, with the solo strum of an acoustic guitar.
  • The soft strums from the guitar at times sounded more like a harp.
1.1An act or period of strumming a guitar or similar instrument.
Example sentences
  • With a solid 3 / 16th of an inch extending from your fingertips, you can get a nice, authoritative strum going with very little effort.
  • I didn't have to wait long before Rowan made a motion with his hand and with a strum of Andy's guitar the song began.



Example sentences
  • Folky guitar strummers, pop balladeers and jazz groups still prefer quiet, seated audiences.
  • As I walked around the outskirts of the mosque, I saw Uighur lute strummers congregating for impromptu performances.
  • The spirits of old Delta bluesmen, Appalachian front-porch strummers, and folk troubadors live in a guitar's wooden hole.


Late 18th century: imitative; compare with thrum1.

Words that rhyme with strum

become, benumb, Brum, bum, chum, crumb, drum, glum, gum, ho-hum, hum, Kara Kum, lum, mum, numb, plum, plumb, Rhum, rhumb, rum, scrum, scum, slum, some, stum, succumb, sum, swum, thrum, thumb, tum, yum-yum

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: strum

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