- 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.
- to use one's influence or authority, usually in secret, in order to bring about a desired result.
- to gain or attempt to gain one's objectives by means of influential friends, associates, etc.: He had his uncle pull strings to get him a promotion.
Origin of string
Examples from the Web for strings
Paper flags of countries that have fought for freedom hang on strings from the ceiling like nationalist Christmas lights.Scotland’s ‘Yes’ Campaign and the Myth of Scottish Equality|Noah Caldwell|September 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The last time the debt limit was raised, this past February, Boehner agreed in the end to do it with no strings attached.
Meanwhile, Iran is offering Iraq everything and anything they need to fight ISIS with no strings attached.Obama’s Favorite Think Tank: We Should Prepare to Bomb Iraq|Josh Rogin|June 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I could turn the nails and tune the strings like that, you see.
At times, he slapped the guitar box with two fingers or the heel of his hand as, in the same motion, he brushed the strings.
He was of opinion that he ought to have two strings to his bow.
Stradella's heart beat fast and faintly, and his fingers trembled when they touched the strings and made the first minor chord.Stradella|F(rancis) Marion Crawford
If I laughed she would tell me no more, yet if I took her too seriously the strings would tighten further.Incredible Adventures|Algernon Blackwood
"I know—the 'Trumerei,'" nodded Marcia, and once more laid her bow across the strings.The Girl Next Door|Augusta Huiell Seaman
There were loaves of stale bread, bunches of onions and strings of sausages behind the small window-panes.Under Western Eyes|Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for strings
- 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
Word Origin and History for strings (1 of 2)
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.
Word Origin and History for strings (1 of 2)
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.
Culture definitions for strings
A section of the orchestra containing the stringed musical instruments — those played by making stretched strings vibrate. In most stringed instruments, the musician draws a bow over the strings; violins, violas, cellos, and bass viols are played in this way. Other stringed instruments are played by plucking the strings; these include the banjo, guitar, harp, harpsichord, and ukulele.
Idioms and Phrases with strings
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