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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Citole \Cit"ole\, n. [OF. citole, fr. L. cithara. See Cittern.] (Mus.) A musical instrument; a kind of dulcimer. [Obs.]


n. An archaic musical instrument whose exact form is uncertain, generally shown with four strings.


n. a 16th century musical instrument resembling a guitar with a pear-shaped soundbox and wire strings [syn: cittern, cithern, cither, gittern]


Citole, also spelled Sytole, Cytiole, Gytolle, etc. (probably a French diminutive form of cithara, and not from Latin cista, a box), an archaic musical instrument, similar and a distant ancestor of the modern guitar of which the exact form is uncertain. It is generally shown as a four-string instrument, with a body generally referred to as "holly-leaf" shaped.

The citole is frequently mentioned by poets of the 13th to the 15th centuries, and is found in Wycliffe's Bible (1360) in 2 Samuel vi. 5: "Harpis and sitols and tympane". The Authorized Version has psaltiries, and the Vulgate lyrae. It has been supposed to be another name for the psaltery, a box-shaped instrument often seen in the illuminated missals of the Middle Ages, and is also liable to confusion with the gittern; whether the terms overlapped in medieval usage has been the subject of modern controversy.

Usage examples of "citole".

He despised the musicians, playing citoles, lyres, pipes that curled like the necks of swans, and what looked like the lid of a trash can.