Definition of cithara in US English:


(also kithara)


  • An ancient Greek and Roman stringed musical instrument similar to the lyre.

    • ‘He sang and performed on the cithara but also encouraged members of the upper classes to take lessons in singing and dancing.’
    • ‘Another stringed instrument mentioned quite often is the cithara.’
    • ‘There Adelard ‘of Bath’ not only learned to play the cithara well enough to be called upon to perform before Henry I's queen, he also developed that passion for Arabic science that was to take him to Spain.’
    • ‘The entrance to the ecstatic Dionysiac world in the Villa of the Mysteries is marked by Silenus playing a cithara at the edge of a rocky landscape.’


Late 18th century: Latin, from Greek kithara. Compare with cittern.