Definition of gittern in English:

gittern

noun

historical
  • A lute-like medieval stringed instrument, forerunner of the guitar.

    • ‘However, gitterns more frequently had frets, flat fingerboards, and flat bridges.’
    • ‘There is definite documentary evidence that both the citole and the gittern were normally strung in gut.’
    • ‘By this time most gitterns were depicted with three, or more commonly four, courses of strings, but with a different tuning from that of the lute.’
    • ‘A gittern, most musicologists have come to agree, was the earliest form of what we know today as a guitar.’
    • ‘For additional information about gitterns, visit the Gittern section of the Early String Instruments page.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French guiterne; perhaps related to cittern and guitar.

Pronunciation:

gittern

/ˈɡɪtəːn/