"ancient stringed instrument," c.1300, from Old French psalterie (12c.), from Latin psalterium "stringed instrument," from Greek psalterion "stringed instrument," from psallein "play on a stringed instrument, pull, pluck" (see psalm).
a musical instrument, supposed to have been a kind of lyre, or a harp with twelve strings. The Hebrew word nebhel, so rendered, is translated "viol" in Isa. 5:12 (R.V., "lute"); 14:11. In Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15, the word thus rendered is Chaldaic, pesanterin, which is supposed to be a word of Greek origin denoting an instrument of the harp kind.