Idioms

    on a/the string, Informal. subject to the whim of another; in one's power; dependent: After keeping me on a string for two months, they finally hired someone else.
    pull strings/wires,
    1. to use one's influence or authority, usually in secret, in order to bring about a desired result.
    2. 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

before 900; (noun) Middle English string, streng, Old English streng; cognate with Dutch streng, German Strang; akin to Latin stringere to bind; (v.) late Middle English stringen to string a bow, derivative of the noun
Related formsstring·less, adjectivestring·like, adjectivere·string, verb, re·strung, re·string·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strings

British Dictionary definitions for strings

string

/ (strɪŋ) /

noun

verb strings, stringing or strung (strʌŋ)

Derived Formsstringlike, adjective

Word Origin for string

Old English streng; related to Old High German strang, Old Norse strengr; see strong
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for strings

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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with strings

string


In addition to the idioms beginning with string

  • string along
  • string out
  • strings attached
  • string together
  • string up

also see:

  • 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.