Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A musical instrument having a flat-backed rounded body that narrows in the middle, a long fretted neck, and usually six strings, played by strumming or plucking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stringed musical instrument, usually with fretted fingerboard and 6 strings, played with the fingers or a plectrum (guitar pick).
  • v. To play the guitar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A stringed instrument of music resembling the lute or the violin, but larger, and having six strings, three of silk covered with silver wire, and three of catgut, -- played upon with the fingers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A musical instrument of the lute class, having usually six strings (three of catgut and three of silk wound with fine silver wire), stretched over a violin-shaped body, and a long neck and finger-board combined.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a stringed instrument usually having six strings; played by strumming or plucking

Etymologies

French guitare, from Spanish guitarra, from Greek kitharā, cithara.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish guitarra, from Arabic قيثارة (qīθāra), from Latin cithara, from Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Compare cither. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • MORNING DEW BONNIE DOBSON, vocals and guitar ART ROSENBAUM, guitar** and banjo*

    WN.com - Business News

  • MORNING DEW BONNIE DOBSON, vocals and guitar ART ROSENBAUM, guitar** and banjo* '' Morning Dew ", also known as" (Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew ", is a post-apocalyptic folk-rock song written by Canadian singer Bonnie Dobson in 1962, that has become a standard.

    WN.com - Business News

  • MORNING DEW BONNIE DOBSON, vocals and guitar ART ROSENBAUM, guitar** and banjo* '' Morning Dew ", also known as" (Walk Me

    WN.com - Business News

  • Credit for the development of what we call the guitar usually goes to Spain and Portugal, but when you think about the Persian word tar and the word "guitar" and the more than 1,000-year-old Persian sculptures that show figures playing string instruments similar to the tar, does it seem that we aren't giving adequate credit to Persian culture when it comes to the history of the guitar?

    Modern Guitars Magazine

  • Surely this guitar is a dream for guitar player … maybe too expensive: P

    Maestro Laser Guitar Trainer by Eugene Cheong » Yanko Design

  • Deron you may already know, the guitar is an ovation.

    Kaki King – Playing With Pink Noise | clusterflock

  • The drums only flutter in and out at key moments, but the guitar is a backbone.

    Music (For Robots): September 2006 Archives

  • The fingering on the guitar is actuated by solenoids also (below), which connect to levers (above).

    The Crazy J- Guitar Playing Machine | Impact Lab

  • I trael back and forth with my washtub base with no problems, and a guitar is all right too, but if you have that van full of amps and speakers I think you are going to have to talk pretty fast and probably have to come across with some loot, and if they think you are coming across for professional reasons, they aren't likely to let you do it on a tourist visa.

    bands traveling to mexico......

  • The nitric acid test for a songwriter where the inferior materials dissolve and leave the gold is what we call guitar pulling.

    Willie

Comments

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  • Well, more importantly, women weren't allowed to do anything that might impair their looks. They also weren't allowed to learn mathematics or natural philosophy. I guess that might cause their little brows to furrow and then they wouldn't be able to get a good husband.

    January 27, 2009

  • Wow. So only male musicians were allowed to have distorted faces....

    January 27, 2009

  • "Palace Street, July 2, 1777.
    MRS. NEILL is now in Williamsburg, where she purposes teaching the GUITAR at one Guinea Entrance, and one Guinea for eight Lessons. She will also instruct young Ladies in Reading, and Needle Work, in the Mornings, at 30s. shillings per Quarter."
    Virginia Gazette (Dixon), July 4, 1777

    The guitar used to be (18th century) considered an instrument suited more to females than to males, the reason being that whistles, flutes, and other such woodwinds distorted the face.

    January 27, 2009

  • Lots of stuff about the origins of the guitar can be found on kitharis, kithara, oud, harp... and here.

    "In translating the works of Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoras, Arab scholars used the words most familiar to them, rendering the Greek lyre with the Arabic oud. As classical learning passed into the cultures of Europe, therefore, the lute, and not the guitar, inherited the kithara's mystical aura. Throughout the Renaissance, European philosophers, poets, and musicians would attribute to the lute the magical powers of Apollo, Amphion, and Orpheus. The lute became the philosopher's instrument, the symbol of neoclassical humanism, of learning and courtly love, while the guitar—though more closely related to the kithara—inherited the aristocracy's disdain for peasants and the Christian philosophers' mistrust of the body, women, and pleasure. It could have been so many things. But in the end it became this."
    —Glenn Kurtz, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music (New York: Vintage Books, 2007), 111

    Also... by the middle of the fourteenth century (the text continues): "the guitar signified subversion, agitation, political and social protest, and scandalous eroticism. A twelfth-century Passional, now in the Royal Library in Stuttgart, shows Saint Pelagia of Antioch riding a donkey, accompanied by two companions, one of whom holds a guitar. The guitar is not an innocent prop. The illustration depiects Saint Pelagia prior to her sainthood, when she lived the life of a dancer and courtesan. The guitar signals that she is still a sinner. The lute was elevated, pure; the guitar was common, debased. And so it would remain for the next five hundred years." (p. 112)

    November 3, 2008

  • Skipvia, I almost forgot to tell you: Got a chance to visit the Martin guitar factory last month. What a great day. :-)

    March 20, 2008

  • My first guitar was Harmony. See Free Association.

    February 4, 2008