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 harp (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for harp

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of harp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sounds of a harp-like instrument called the yazh, named for the mythological animal Yali whose image was carved into its stem, once filled the halls of temples and royal courts in southern India. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Listen to the First Song Ever Recorded on This Ancient, Harp-Like Instrument," 6 Apr. 2021 Hoffman’s harp lends the piece an entirely different aura — melodic pluck hovering in vaporous harmony. Washington Post, "Beyond Vivaldi, a classical playlist to bring on the spring," 2 Apr. 2021 And then there was the harp, which is one of my favorite instruments to write for, highlighting this lullaby quality. New York Times, "Drag Star Sasha Velour Lip-Syncs for Her Operatic Life," 29 Mar. 2021 Young Artists Competition and must play one of the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, saxophone, percussion, harp, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, or guitar. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 26 Mar. 2021 The dissonant blend of holistic health advice and conspiracy theory has become a hallmark of Northrup’s video sermons, delivered in a soothing ASMR voice and sometimes accompanied by her playing the harp. Brian Doherty, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Virus, the Vaccine, and the Dark Side of Wellness," 16 Mar. 2021 The group readied themselves to play, simultaneously lifting bows to violins, hands to a golden harp and fingers to pluck at guitarróns, their bass guitars. New York Times, "Mariachis Play On, Their Music Unsilenced by the Virus or the Deaths," 24 Mar. 2021 Highlights of the discovery include a cache of coins bearing Jewish symbols like a harp and a date palm, arrowheads and spear tips, sandals, fabric, and lice combs. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Dozens of Dead Sea Scroll Fragments Found in Israeli Cave," 16 Mar. 2021 DaBaby was joined by a string section and a schmaltzy chorus; Megan Thee Stallion performed a tap routine on a Copacabana-like set; Roddy Rich was accompanied by a harp. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The Best, Worst and Most Head-Scratching Moments of the 2021 Grammy Awards," 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ads in these states will harp on one theme: A Biden administration will not tolerate looting. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Biden Electoral College strategy comes into view with swing state ad buys," 2 Sep. 2020 But Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts didn’t wish to harp on Gabriel’s penchant for having referees blow whistles in his direction. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers’ Wenyen Gabriel has earned Terry Stotts’ trust despite frequent foul trouble," 19 Aug. 2020 Because there are so many dependent risk factors that are different for each family, all experts agree that parents need to harp on the basics. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Is It Safe for Kids to Go Back to School? Here's Everything Parents Need to Know," 22 July 2020 The piece opens with agitated flourishes in the guitar and harp that build to a sudden exclamation. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "The Davin-Levin Duo’s relaxing debut album, ‘Banter,’ couldn’t have come at a better time," 22 Apr. 2020 The biggest thing that everyone has harped on has been the cash payments. Alvin Melathe, The Atlantic, "Social Distance: Will $2 Trillion Be Enough?," 27 Mar. 2020 Seguin’s improved play in his own zone was one of the things that interim head coach Rick Bowness often harped on during Seguin’s drought. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars’ Best of the Season: Tyler Seguin’s OT goal in Montreal caps all-around night," 25 Mar. 2020 According to research, most of us are far more comfortably harping on our shortcomings than giving ourselves compliments. Srini Pillay, Quartz at Work, "Picturing your own success can make you more successful," 21 Feb. 2020 The ball caught nothing but backboard, which Calipari harped upon postgame. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Off the mark: UK's poor 3-point shooting against Ole Miss highlights weakness," 16 Feb. 2020

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 harpe, going back to Old English hearpe (feminine weak noun), going back to Germanic *harpōn- (whence also Old Saxon harpa "harp, rack, gridiron for torture" Old High German harpha, harfa "harp, gridiron for torture," Old Norse harpa "harp"), of uncertain origin

Note: As a source for Middle English harpe compare also Anglo-French and continental Old French harpe, borrowed from Germanic. The sixth-century poet and hymnodist Venantius Fortunatus, resident at the Merovingian court, attests the word in Latin: "Romanusque lyra plaudat tibi, barbarus harpa…" ("Let the Roman applaud you with the lyre, the barbarian with the harp…").

Verb

Middle English harpen "to play a harp, pluck" (also harpen on "repeat [something] constantly"), going back to Old English hearpian "to play the harp," derivative of hearpe harp entry 1

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Time Traveler for harp

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for harp

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harp. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of harp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about harp

Comments on harp

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