- a small upright piano.
- a small, square piano.
- any of various small harpsichords.
- Also called spinet organ. a small electric organ.
Origin of spinet
Examples from the Web for spinet
I went into the smoking-room and sat down before the spinet.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
There are two theories as to the origin of the name "spinet."How the Piano Came to Be
Ellye Howell Glover
There are interesting old books on the virginals, harpsichord, and spinet.The Book-Hunter at Home
P. B. M. Allan
She had been taking lessons on the spinet, but the painting was a great rival.A Little Girl in Old Salem
Amanda Minnie Douglas
Her laugh was sweet and tinkly, like the upper notes of a spinet.IT and Other Stories
Now I know it is a spinet I heard humming—I told you about it, mother.True to His Home
- a small type of harpsichord having one manual
Word Origin and History for spinet
1660s, spinette, "small harpsichord," from older French espinette (1520s), from Italian spinetta, said by Scaliger to be a diminutive of spina "thorn, spine," from Latin spina "thorn" (see spine), so called because the strings were plucked with thorn-like quills. The other theory (favored by OED) dates to early 17c. and claims the word is from the name of the Venetian inventor, Giovanni Spinetti (fl. c.1503).