A luthier is someone who makes or repairs lutes and other string instruments. In the United States, the term is used interchangeably with a term for the specialty of each maker, such as violinmaker, 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.