A cittern, also called a cither or cithern, is a musical instrument popular in western Europe in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. An instrument resembling a lute, but with a shallow, flat back, its four pairs of wire strings were played with a plectrum until the end of the sixteenth century and thereafter often with the fingers. In England, during the eighteenth century, is was miscalled the English guitar. Of the same general type were the orpharion, or pandore (or bandore or badora), a bass instrument. The Spanish bandurria and laud are also forms of cittern.


Note that the gittern was a different instrument.