A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ loo-ti-ər) is someone who makes or repairs lutes and other string instruments. In the United States, the term is used interchangeably with any term that refers to a specific, or specialty type of stringed instrument, such asviolin maker, guitar maker, lute maker, etc. The word luthier comes from the French word luth, which means lute. The craft of making string instruments, or lutherie, is commonly divided into two main categories: makers of stringed instruments that are plucked or strummed and makers of stringed instruments that are bowed. Since bowed instruments require a bow, the second category includes a subtype known as a bow maker or archetier.
Two important luthiers of the early 19th century connected with the development of the modern classical guitar are Louis Panormo and Georg Staufer. Antonio Torres Jurado is credited with developing the form of classical guitar that is still in use today. Christian Frederick Martin of Germany developed a form that evolved into the modern steel-string acoustic guitar.