noun (plural plectrums or plectra /-trə/)
1A thin flat piece of plastic, tortoiseshell, or other slightly flexible material held by or worn on the fingers and used to pluck the strings of a musical instrument such as a guitar.
- If you refer to your collection of tortoiseshell guitar picks as plectra, the rest of your rock group are going to make merciless fun of you.
- The arched-top guitar came to the fore as the regular plectrum guitar for jazz, giving chords of a penetrating, rather metallic quality.
- With a jerk, I smashed the plectrum hard down my guitar, sending an ear splitting screech of metal throughout the building.
1.1The corresponding mechanical part that plucks the strings of an instrument such as a harpsichord.
- ‘Its plectra - which pluck the strings to produce the harpsichord's sound - were replaced using black turkey quills, which they would have been made from originally,’ she said.
- The problems of construction, strings and tunings aside, the critical issue is that the instrument is played not with plectrums, bows or hammers, but only by the hand.
- In a harpsichord, there is a separate plectrum for each string.
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek plēktron 'something with which to strike', from plēssein 'to strike'.
Words that rhyme with plectrumspectrum
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