Definition of sistrum in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsɪstrəm/

noun (plural sistra /ˈsɪstrə/)

Image of sistrum
A musical instrument of ancient Egypt consisting of a metal frame with transverse metal rods which rattled when the instrument was shaken.
Example sentences
  • Drums, sometimes very large, were important in Mesopotamian ritual, while the characteristic instrument of Egyptian ceremony was the sistrum or rattle.
  • Deacons sing and accompany the song with drums and a sistrum as part of the mass.
  • Two students composed a synthesized soundtrack that combined world beat rhythms with the beat of the sacred sistrum on every thrust of the harpoon.


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek seistron, from seiein 'to shake'.

Words that rhyme with sistrum


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sis|trum

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.