‎ I have seen people using this word to refer to the sound wind makes as it moves through trees. However,
1. No reputable dictionary seems to have acknowledged this term as a valid english word.
2. Even Google Ngram seems to agree on its oddness.

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    The OED notes of psithurism, "Obsolete. Forms: α. psithurisma. β. psithurism. This word belongs in Frequency Band 1. Band 1 contains extremely rare words unlikely ever to appear in modern text. These may be obscure technical terms or terms restricted to occasional historical use, e.g. abaptiston, abaxile, grithbreach, gurhofite, zarnich, zeagonite.* The only 4 examples are taken from dates between 1843 and 1883. – Greybeard Jun 4 '20 at 20:48
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    I have no idea what it means. – Hot Licks Jun 4 '20 at 21:03
  • @Greybeard, Interesting! By the way, what are OED notes? And how to use them as you did? Thanks a lot! – user11731289 Jun 4 '20 at 21:32
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    @user11731289 Greybeard meant 'The OED makes this note about psithurism'. About OED frequency bands. The full OED is restricted to paying subscribers, but happily this includes subscribers to most UK public libraries. – AakashM Jun 5 '20 at 9:09
  • @AakashM, very helpful , thanks. – user11731289 Jun 5 '20 at 9:18

It appears to be an obsolete rare term.

Fom the OED Online:

Psithurism (rare)

Whispering; a whispering noise, as of leaves moved by the wind.

  • 1872 M. COLLINS Pr. Clarice II. xix. 218 Psithurism of multitudinous leaves made ghostly music.

  • 1875 Blacksmith & Scholar (1876) II. 12 The wind wooed them with a whispering psithurism.

Psithurism(plural not attested)

(obsolete) The sound of rustling leaves.

Origin - An adaptation of the Ancient Greek ψιθύρισµα (psithurisma) or ψιθυρισµός (psithurismos), from ψιθυρίζω (psithurizō, “I whisper”), from ψίθυρος (psithuros, “whispering”, “slanderous”).

(Your Dictionary.com)

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    @user11731289 The OED is the "top" Oxford dictionary. – tchrist Jun 4 '20 at 22:51
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    So I conjecture that this word was used only by those who were (in those days) forced to learn Greek in school. – GEdgar Jun 4 '20 at 23:26
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    @GEdgar I suspect it is only used by people who consult lists of obscure words in an effort to sound smarter or more educated than they are. – choster Jun 4 '20 at 23:30
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    Perhaps the word ψιθύρισµα is found in one of the Greek works force-fed to kiddies in the past, such as the Iliad. – GEdgar Jun 5 '20 at 0:06
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    @GEdgar Doesn’t look like it’s used in the Iliad, but it appears in the very first line of Theocritus’ Idylls, which I suspect helped it make it on to those lists of obscure words. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 5 '20 at 17:34

It is cited by John Lewis-Stempel as one of his favourite words in The Wood: the Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood (2018).

  • You are new to this site so you probably don't know how it works. Kindly try to support the information you are giving with concrete examples and links to your research online. – fev Dec 13 '20 at 12:46

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