- a musical instrument of ancient Greece consisting of a soundbox made typically from a turtle shell, with two curved arms connected by a yoke from which strings are stretched to the body, used especially to accompany singing and recitation.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Lyra.
Origin of lyre
1175–1225; Middle English lire < Latin lyra < Greek lýra
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for lyre
These pieces show Christov-Bakargiev wearing her Apollo hat and strumming the lyre too loudly.The Art Exhibition Documenta Contains Almost Too Much Good Art to Experience
June 9, 2012
We might conclude that the only thing of beauty that remains of him is the shape of his lyre in the stars.
Only head and lyre remained intact, floating down the River Hebrus from Thrace to the sea.
Some lines of his on the lyre became the motto of an engraving by Bartolozzi.Heroes of the Telegraph
A lyre rested on his knees, and he was striking the strings softly.
And when he came upon Apollo striking his lyre, his heart leaped into his mouth.
He touched the strings of his lyre, and all things were silent with joy.Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew
Josephine Preston Peabody
Alas, my dear Thomson, I fear it will be some time ere I tune my lyre again!The Letters of Robert Burns
- an ancient Greek stringed instrument consisting of a resonating tortoise shell to which a crossbar was attached by two projecting arms. It was plucked with a plectrum and used for accompanying songs
- any ancient instrument of similar design
- a medieval bowed instrument of the violin family
C13: via Old French from Latin lyra, from Greek lura
Word Origin and History for lyre
harp-like instrument, c.1200, from Old French lire "lyre," from Latin lyra, from Greek lyra, a foreign word of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper