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Word of the Day
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Definitions for clavier

  1. any musical instrument having a keyboard, especially a stringed keyboard instrument, as a harpsichord, clavichord, or piano.

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Citations for clavier
Herr Gleissner composed twelve songs with clavier accompaniment. Alois Senefelder, The Invention of Lithography, translated by J. W. Muller, 1911
An engraved portrait that a German artist made of Buchinger, in 1710, includes thirteen surrounding vignettes that picture him at tables, bearing his instruments and props, but just one depicts him in action, playing a hammered clavier. Peter Schjeldahl, "Seeing and Believing," The New Yorker, January 25, 2016
Origin of clavier
1700-1710
English clavier comes from Old French clavier “keyholder, keybearer,” as if from Medieval Latin clāviārius (formed from clāvis “key,” which becomes clef or clé in French, and the common noun suffix -ārius, which becomes -ier in Old French). French clavier also meant "a bank or row of keys on a musical instrument, a keyboard," which is the first sense of the word in English, dating from the early 18th century. German and the other Germanic languages specialized the meaning to “keyboard instrument with strings (particularly the clavichord),” which English adopted in the mid-19th century.