Meaning of zither in English:


Pronunciation /ˈzɪðə/

Translate zither into Spanish


  • A musical instrument consisting of a flat wooden soundbox with numerous strings stretched across it, placed horizontally and played with the fingers and a plectrum. It is used especially in central European folk music.

    ‘They've grown up and want us to realise it; this album is more low key and features an impressive array of instruments including a ukulele, zithers, brass and strings.’
    • ‘European zithers are all box zithers: that is, the soundboard forms the upper surface of a wooden resonator box.’
    • ‘With harps, gourds, lutes and zithers, the album takes the listener on a journey through the band's life.’
    • ‘In addition to a weaving violin and a zither that sends chills down your spine, there is a solo voice - similar to the muezzin's call from the minarets - that is full of heartbreaking longing.’
    • ‘Lauper has performed on a number of instruments including guitar, dulcimer, zither, recorder, bass recorder, omnichord, banjo, ukelele, tin whistle, and drums among others.’
    • ‘Soon after his arrival in Vienna, Carol Reed heard a local musician, Anton Karas, playing an odd sort of Austrian guitar, called a zither.’
    • ‘They also show me the instruments they keep in the forest - the flutes, bow-harps, zithers and drums that are used in the music.’
    • ‘Ancient instruments used for court music include zithers, flutes, reed instruments, and percussion.’
    • ‘The instrumentation includes a fairground organ and a zither.’
    • ‘The guqin, a seven-stringed zither, is the oldest of China's stringed instruments, dating back some 3,000 years.’
    • ‘Or, speaking of Steiner, would Gone with the Wind be reduced in epic scope or refined in aesthetic taste were it scored with the zithers of The Third Man?’
    • ‘The eight-stringed zither on which the old geezer accompanies himself has a really funky tone; he adds mouth percussion between stanzas.’
    • ‘Some fished in clear deep waters and fish would swim over for their bait; some played the zither and the gulls would remain docile and uninterrupted.’
    • ‘Accompanying Urna is her German husband and producer Robert Zollitsch, who also played the zither and performed Mogolian throat singing.’
    • ‘First he trained his wife on how to play the zither.’
    • ‘The whole village is gathered in a noisy sports hall, sipping local wines, while listening to a morbid folk song played on a second-hand zither.’
    • ‘Then he reaches for a what appears to be a fun-sized zither and picks out the melody to ‘I Thought’.’
    • ‘The ballad form, which was most popular between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, often involved pastoral tales sung to the accompaniment of a lute or zither.’
    • ‘The Third Man is very much a jape - a sardonic waltz set to the mocking gaiety of its infectious zither theme.’
    • ‘He's heard here both solo and backed by zither and percussion.’


Mid 19th century from German, from Latin cithara (see cittern).