- stringed instruments, especially those played with a bow.
- players on such instruments in an orchestra or band.
- a stroke made by each player from the head of the table to the opposite cushion and back, to determine, by means of the resultant positions of the cue balls, who shall open the game.
- Also called string line.a line from behind which the cue ball is placed after being out of play.
verb (used with object), strung; strung or (Rare) stringed; string·ing.
- to adjust the string of (a bow) or tighten the strings of (a musical instrument) to the required pitch.
- to equip (a bow or instrument) with new strings.
verb (used without object), strung; strung or (Rare) stringed; string·ing.
- to be in agreement; follow with confidence: He found he couldn't string along with all their modern notions.
- to keep (a person) waiting or in a state of uncertainty.
- to deceive; cheat; trick.
- to extend; stretch out: The parade strung out for miles.
- to prolong: The promised three days strung out to six weeks.
Origin of string
- violins, violas, cellos, and double basses collectively
- the section of a symphony orchestra constituted by such instruments
verb strings, stringing or strung (strʌŋ)
Word Origin for string
Old English streng "line, cord, thread," from Proto-Germanic *strangiz (cf. Old Norse strengr, Danish streng, Middle Dutch strenge, Dutch streng, Old High German strang, German Strang "rope, cord"), from *strang- "taut, stiff," from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see strain). Gradually restricted by early Middle English to lines that are smaller than a rope. Sense of "a number of objects arranged in a line" first recorded late 15c.
Old English meaning "ligaments, tendons" is preserved in hamstring, heartstrings. Meaning "limitations, stipulations" (1888) is American English, probably from the common April Fool's joke of leaving a purse that looks full of money on the sidewalk, then tugging it away with an attached string when someone stoops to pick it up. To pull strings "control the course of affairs" (1860) is from the notion of puppet theater. First string, second string, etc. in athletics (1863) is from archers' custom of carrying spare bowstrings in the event that one breaks. Strings "stringed instruments" is attested from mid-14c. String bean is from 1759; string bikini is from 1974.
c.1400, "to fit a bow with a string," from string (n.). Meaning "to thread (beads, etc.) on a string" is from 1610s. To string (someone) along is slang from 1902; string (v.) in this sense is attested in British dialect from c.1812.
In addition to the idioms beginning with string
- string along
- string out
- strings attached
- string together
- string up
- harp on (one string)
- no strings attached
- on a shoestring
- on a string
- pull strings
- purse strings
- tied to apron strings
- two strings to one's bow