- a zither having a usually trapezoidal shape and a number of metal strings, which are struck with two small hammers by the player
- a zither of the S Appalachians, often long and hourglass-shaped, played on the lap or a table by plucking with a wooden plectrum or goose quillalso dul′ci·more·
- Bible a musical instrument, variously interpreted to be a harp, bagpipe, etc.: see Dan. 3:5
Origin of dulcimerMiddle English doucemer ; from Old French doulcemer ; from Spanish dulcemele ; from Classical Latin dulce-melos ; from dulce, neuter of dulcis, sweet (see dulcet) + melos ; from Gr, a song, strain
- A narrow, often hourglass-shaped stringed instrument having three or four strings and a fretted fingerboard, typically held flat across the knees while sitting and played by plucking or strumming. Also called Appalachian dulcimer, mountain dulcimer.
- The hammered dulcimer.
Origin of dulcimerAlteration (influenced by Latin dulcis, sweet) of Middle English doucemer, from Old French doulcemer, doulcemele, probably from Latin dulce melos, sweet song : dulce, neuter of dulcis, sweet + melos, song (from Greek).
- (music) A stringed instrument, with strings stretched across a sounding board, usually trapezoidal. It's played on the lap or horizontally on a table. Some have their own legs. These musical instruments are played by plucking on the strings (traditionally with a quill) or by tapping on them (in the case of the hammer dulcimers).
- The two classes of dulcimer are the "Mountain" or "Appalacian" dulcimer (plucked and played with a quill, usually a goose quill) and the hammer dulcimer (played by tapping on the strings with small "hammers"). See also: zither