Origin of psalteryMiddle English psauterie from Old French sautere, psalterie from Classical Latin psalterium: see Psalter
nounpl. psal·ter·ies, also psal·tries
Origin of psalteryMiddle English psalterie from Old French from Latin psaltērium from Greek psaltērion from psallein to play the harp ; see pāl- in Indo-European roots.
- An ancient musical instrument, similar to a dulcimer or a zither, and played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.
- And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. (Nehemiah 12:27, KJV)
From Ancient Greek ÏˆÎ±Î»Ï„Î®ÏÎ¹Î¿Î½ (psalterion) “stringed instrument, psaltery, harp", from ÏˆÎ¬Î»Î»Ï‰ (psallo) “to touch sharply, to pluck, to pull, to twitch" and in the case of the strings of musical instruments, “to play a stringed instrument with the fingers, and not with the plectron"