before 900;Middle Englishpsalm(e), s(e)alm(e), psame,Old Englishps(e)alm, sealm < Late Latinpsalmus < Greekpsalmós song sung to the harp, orig., a plucking, as of strings, akin to psállein to pluck, pull, play (the harp)
O.E. salm, from L. psalmus, from Gk. psalmos "song sung to a harp," originally "performance on stringed instrument," from psallein "play on a stringed instrument, pull, twitch." Used in Septuagint for Heb. mizmor "song," especially the sort sung by David to the harp.