Find the word definition

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Crowd \Crowd\, n. [W. crwth; akin to Gael. cruit. Perh. named from its shape, and akin to Gr. kyrto`s curved, and E. curve. Cf. Rote.] An ancient instrument of music with six strings; a kind of violin, being the oldest known stringed instrument played with a bow. [Written also croud, crowth, cruth, and crwth.]

A lackey that . . . can warble upon a crowd a little.
--B. Jonson.


n. (context musici historical English) An archaic stringed instrument associated particularly with Wales, though once played widely in Europe.


The crwth ( or ), also called a crowd or rote, is an archaic stringed instrument, associated particularly with Welsh music, once widely played in Europe. Four examples have survived and are to be found in St Fagans National History Museum Cardiff, National Museum Wales Aberystwyth, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Usage examples of "crwth".

The harp has always been their principal instrument, and for many centuries a rude kind of violin called the crwth, of which there will be occasion to speak in connection with the violin, at a later period in this work.

The second class of musical bards was composed of the players upon the crwth, of six strings.

The presence of two such instruments as the harp and the crwth in this part of Europe is not to be explained by historical facts within our knowledge.

The rebec was not known in Arabia until nearly two centuries after we find the crwth mentioned by Venance Fortunatus.

The crwth may have been a survival of this primitive discovery, still cherished among a people not able to employ it intelligently, and not able to develop its powers.

For while the crwth was in Europe two centuries before the violin, the improvement of this instrument was due to stimulation from quite another quarter.

As the bridge of the crwth was nearly flat, the adjacent strings were octaves, or related in such a way that when sounding together chords were produced.

Kerwick had been overjoyed, more so than she, he knew, for when she grew troubled, her father had once told him, she always plucked idly upon the crwth as she had done that night long ago, making an odd melody that sounded eerie in the great hall.