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lyre

Definitions

  • the Women Passing by in Procession, In Charge Of A Warrior and of a Man Playing Upon the Lyre
    the Women Passing by in Procession, In Charge Of A Warrior and of a Man Playing Upon the Lyre
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n lyre a harp used by ancient Greeks for accompaniment
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Lyre (Mus) A stringed instrument of music; a kind of harp much used by the ancients, as an accompaniment to poetry.
    • Lyre (Astron) One of the constellations; Lyra. See Lyra.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n lyre In music
    • n lyre A stringed instrument of Egyptian origin, which became the national instrument of ancient Greece. It belonged essentially to the harp family. It resembled closely the cithara, which was derived from Asia, and, like it, consisted of a hollow body, sometimes made of a tortoise-shell, from which two branching horns projected upward, carrying a cross-piece or yoke; the strings, whose number varied from three to ten or more, but was most characteristically seven, were stretched between the yoke and the body, a bridge being provided on the latter for their attachment. The instrument, held by the left arm, sometimes resting on the knee, was played with a plectrum in the right hand, and also by the fingers of the left hand. The tuning of the strings was probably various, though doubtless tetrachordal from very early times. The strings of an eight-stringed lyre were named hypate, the ‘highest’ string (probably as the lyre was usually held), which was the longest and gave the lowest sound; parhypate, the next string to hypate; lichanos, the forefinger-string; mese, the middle string; paramese, the next string to mese; trite, the third string (from the bottom); paranete, the next string to nete; and nete, the ‘last’ or ‘lowest’ string, which was the shortest and gave the highest sound. From these terms came most of the names of tones in the various Greek tonal systems. (See tetrachord.) The lyre was the instrument most used by the Greeks for accompanying singing and recitation; hence the terms lyric and lyrical. It is doubtful whether it was used unaccompanied by the voice.
    • n lyre An element in the name of some instruments of the viol class, as the arm-lyre or lira da braccio, and the knee-lyre or lira da gamba. See lira.
    • n lyre A kind of metallic harmonica, mounted on a lyre-shaped frame, occasionally used in military music.
    • n lyre A kind of rebec used by the modern Greeks. See rebec.
    • n lyre [capitalized] A constellation. See Lyra, 1.
    • n lyre A verse of the kind commonly used in lyric poetry.
    • n lyre The Manx shearwater, Puffinus anglorum.
    • n lyre A grade of isinglass: a trade-name.
    • n lyre An obsolete form of leer.
    • n lyre See lire.
    • lyre In pianoforte-making, the lyre-shaped frame to which the pedals are attached and through which the pedal-rods work.
    • lyre The posterior portion of the under surface of the fornix of the brain, marked by a number of lines bearing a fancied resemblance to a lyre. Also called lyre of David or lyra Davidis.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Lyre līr a musical instrument like the harp, anciently used as an accompaniment to poetry
    • ***

Quotations

  • Kahlil Gibran
    Kahlil%20Gibran
    “You can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. lire, OF. lyre, L. lyra, Gr. . Cf. Lyra
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. lyra—Gr.

Usage

In literature:

No Nero's lyre Across his work of death such yells of triumph flung!
"Rowena & Harold" by Wm. Stephen Pryer
Till David's Lyre grew mightier than his Throne!
"The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7)" by Lord Byron
For a lyre outshone by my syrinx hast thou sold all thine empire to me.
"Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida" by Ouida
He heard the lyres of angels, or the tempting whispers of fiends.
"The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III" by Various
Fishing Station at Lyre River.
"Alphabetical Vocabularies of the Clallum and Lummi" by George Gibbs
Let wrapt musicians strike the lyre, vol.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI" by Various
In sculpture Amphion is always represented with a lyre; Zethus with a club.
"Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome" by E.M. Berens
Then let thy active hand scud o'er thy lyre, And make my spirits frantic with the fire.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
The battle of Bannockburn was an event peculiarly adapted for the strains of the native lyre.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI." by Various
His instrument is a kind of lyre not unlike our violin.
"Life of Schamyl" by John Milton Mackie
His lyre's a wonder to behold; its frame is pearl, its strings are gold.
"Rippling Rhymes" by Walt Mason
Apollo gave his little son a lyre, and himself taught him how to play it.
"A Book of Myths" by Jean Lang
Lyre: the upper wall or border of the spinning tube of caterpillars.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
At ten I will strike the lyre and begin my poem.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
Hercules occupies the space between the Lyre on the one side and the Crown and the Serpent's head on the other.
"Half-Hours with the Stars" by Richard A. Proctor
Harry asked if they would have an opportunity to see the famous lyre bird of Australia.
"The Land of the Kangaroo" by Thomas Wallace Knox
Eyes, fill yourselves with light And ye, O Lyres, with rhythm!
"Life Immovable" by Kostes Palamas
It is like a faint echo of the last productions of the sacred lyre of Israel.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03" by Various
Could not these good people see my lyre?
"The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VIII (of X) - Continental Europe II." by Various
While Orpheus is singing to his lyre on Mount Rhodope, the women of Thrace celebrate their orgies.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
***

In poetry:

Sometimes amid her cottage home,
She touched the breathing lyre,
And then her quivering lips were dumb,
Her soaring soul on fire.
"Milly" by James Avis Bartley
From silence my mute lyre release,
And tune its chords to love;
Breathe o'er its numbers, breathe Thy peace,—
Echo of joy above.
"On Recovering From Sickness" by Caroline Oliphant
Shall Sirius resolve our fears?
Shall Vega's Lord command the Lyre
To scatter from her chords of fire
A music on the mortal years?
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
Say that when Fancy closed her wings
And Passion quenched his fire,
Love, Love, still echoed from the strings
As from Anacreon's lyre!
"The Lyre Of Anacreon" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
XIII.
Cease, cease my Tongue, be still, my Lyre,
Be silent every String:
This is a Theme, O heav'nly Choir,
Too great for you to sing.
"The Almighty Conqueror." by Mather Byles
My lyre I tune, my voice I raise,
But with my numbers mix my sighs;
And, whilst I sing Euphelia's praise,
I fix my soul on Cloe's eyes.
"An Ode. The Merchant, To Secure" by Matthew Prior

In news:

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County sheriff's deputies have identified the body of a man found in the Lyre River as that of 50-year-old Port Angeles resident James W Hopkins.
Body found in Lyre River.
Authorities are waiting to notify next of kin before releasing the name of man whose body was found in the Lyre River.
The meat-eating species was dubbed the "harp sponge," so-called because its structure resembles a harp or lyre turned on its side.
Rosales +Partners Option "E" for the North Coast Harbor pedestrian bridge designed by Miguel Rosales of Boston resembles a lyre, or the letter "V".
The group also features Peter Greenberg of pioneering Boston band DMZ (as well as The Lyres) and groundbreaking Cincy Garage rockers The Customs (fellow Custom Jim Cole records with the band but doesn't play live).
But of those who have turned the mythological musician's underworld-charming lyre tunes to opera, Georg Philipp Telemann hasn't received much attention.
But of those who have turned the mythological musician’s underworld-charming lyre tunes to opera, Georg Philipp Telemann hasn’t received much attention.
AS THE MIDDLE EAST EXPLODES, IS OBAMA PLAYING THE LYRE LIKE NERO .
In the score, the composer instructs the soloist to apply the soft pedal, going from the standard three strings down to a single string, perhaps representing Orpheus's lyre.
***