harp

noun
\ ˈhärp How to pronounce harp (audio) \

Definition of harp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a plucked stringed instrument consisting of a resonator, an arched or angled neck that may be supported by a post, and strings of graded length that are perpendicular to the soundboard
2 : something resembling a harp

harp

verb
harped; harping; harps

Definition of harp (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to play on a harp
2 : to dwell on or recur to a subject tiresomely or monotonously usually used with on

Illustration of harp

Illustration of harp

Noun

harp 1

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from harp

Noun

harpist \ ˈhär-​pist How to pronounce harpist (audio) \ noun

Examples of harp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Accompanying instrumentalists -- two violins, a gamba, two theorbos (bass lutes), baroque harp and two harpsichords -- are divided at back corners of the stage. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Coming-of-age story packs an emotional wallop with its premiere at opera festival," 18 June 2019 Singing and playing, however, was some of the most beautifully heartfelt, with the ravishing added color of a prominent part for harp. Alan Artner, chicagotribune.com, "Haymarket Opera performs rare Rossi Passion oratorio," 9 Mar. 2018 Among the objects recovered by archaeologists are a harp from Western Asia and silk from eastern China. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, "Archaeologists find signs of ritualized cannabis smoking 2,500 years ago in China," 13 June 2019 The Italian web filled with images of the city’s embattled mayor, Virginia Raggi of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, fiddling like Nero on a harp as the city, or its buses, burned. New York Times, "Rome Is Burning (or at Least Its Buses Are)," 10 May 2018 The London rockers were accompanied by harps and a number of pianos for their transformative performance. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Florence & the Machine Give Elegant Performance of 'Hunger' on 'The Late Show': Watch," 28 June 2018 In addition to undergoing six months of vocal lessons and learning to play the auto-harp, Witherspoon’s research included looking through the late singer’s closet for inspiration. Maria Ward, Vogue, "5 Things You Didn’t Know About Reese Witherspoon," 10 Jan. 2019 Fox News harps on the violence of groups like Antifa, yet conveniently fails to mention the extreme violence committed by the far right—violence that has led to the killings of innocent people. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "We're Living in a Time of Cruel Laughing Men," 17 Oct. 2018 On Sundays at noon, Elsz, a Brooklyn singer and musician, teaches yoga that is elevated by her harp playing and soothing singing at the beginning and end of class. Crystal Martin, New York Times, "In This House, Everyone’s Welcome," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dudley has spent much of this year harping on how unsustainable the world's trajectory appears. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "BP report: Global carbon emissions rose the most since 2011," 11 June 2019 The world’s biggest food companies harp on about the need to come up with new products. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "The Missing Piece in Big Food’s Innovation Puzzle," 1 Apr. 2019 Of course, critics like Mr. LeGras will always harp on setbacks. WSJ, "Better Street Design Is Preventing Fatalities," 24 Jan. 2019 But there is a darker side to the equation: Subsequent failures by the French team saw far-right politicians harp on the supposed lack of patriotism of nonwhite players. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The World Cup is a celebration of cosmopolitanism, until it isn’t," 4 July 2018 As a result, the benefits of meditation have, in many cases, been overblown thanks to headlines harping on awesome-sounding but unsubstantial studies. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Meditation Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Health," 11 Sep. 2018 In his campaign, Morrisey, 50, has harped on his efforts as attorney general to curtail the state’s opioid epidemic. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Who is Patrick Morrisey? A look at the West Virginia Senate hopeful," 21 Aug. 2018 But really, our job throughout the night is not to harp on any drama that came before us but to celebrate all the people in that room, who put in all their effort eight times a week and deserve to be there for all the right reasons. Ashley Lee, latimes.com, "For Tony Awards hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, it's showtime," 9 June 2018 Stephen Curry harped on the team's 18 turnovers — which has always been Golden State's Achilles' heel during this run the past four seasons. Tim Bontemps, chicagotribune.com, "Kevin Durant is reverting to old habits as Warriors get pushed to brink of elimination," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harp

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for harp

Noun

Middle English, from Old English hearpe; akin to Old High German harpha harp

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Statistics for harp

Last Updated

30 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harp

The first known use of harp was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for harp

harp

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harp

: a musical instrument that has strings stretched across a large open frame and that is played with your fingers

harp

noun
\ ˈhärp How to pronounce harp (audio) \

Kids Definition of harp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a musical instrument consisting of a triangular frame set with strings that are plucked by the fingers

harp

verb
harped; harping

Kids Definition of harp (Entry 2 of 2)

: to call attention to something over and over again The teacher harped on her mistake.

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More from Merriam-Webster on harp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harp

Spanish Central: Translation of harp

Nglish: Translation of harp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about harp

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