harp·​si·​chord | \ ˈhärp-si-ˌkȯrd How to pronounce harpsichord (audio) \

Definition of harpsichord

: a stringed instrument resembling a grand piano but usually having two keyboards and two or more strings for each note and producing tones by the plucking of strings with plectra

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from harpsichord

harpsichordist \ ˈhärp-​si-​ˌkȯr-​dist How to pronounce harpsichordist (audio) \ noun

Examples of harpsichord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Pilgrim Chamber Players: Harpsichordist Jory Vinikour joins the ensemble for its season finale, a program of works for harpsichord, flute and strings by Bach, Rameau and Walter Leigh. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Recommended Chicago classical concerts for June 1-7," 31 May 2018 Jennifer Paulino, Elaine Thornburgh Soprano; harpsichord. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 31 May 2018 Here near the borders of Brazil and Paraguay, harpsichords and lutes can be found in the smallest villages. Nicholas Casey, New York Times, "Jesuit Legacy in the Bolivian Jungle: A Love of Baroque Music," 8 May 2018 Elizabeth Blumenstock, Elisabeth Reed, Corey Jamason Baroque violin; baroque cello; harpsichord. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 19 Apr. 2018 The Baroque guitar's continuo and the delicate accompaniment of Sorrell's harpsichord sounded right at home with the strings, which blended beautifully without losing their individual characters. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, "Apollo's Fire heats up CIM in warm-up for Carnegie Hall debut (review)," 19 Mar. 2018 Se Piace Katherine Heater, harpsichord; Anthony Martin, violin. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 31 May 2018 Up close, the harpsichord can be a wild, prickly beast. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Rebel Harpsichordists," 14 May 2018 Directed from the harpsichord by Mr. Stubbs, the Juilliard415 players ably captured the variety of this remarkable score. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "French Opera Takes Over New York," 23 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of harpsichord

1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harpsichord

modification of Italian arpicordo, from arpa harp + corda string

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about harpsichord

Share harpsichord

Statistics for harpsichord

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harpsichord

The first known use of harpsichord was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for harpsichord



English Language Learners Definition of harpsichord

: a musical instrument that is similar to a piano but with strings that are plucked rather than struck


harp·​si·​chord | \ ˈhärp-si-ˌkȯrd How to pronounce harpsichord (audio) \

Kids Definition of harpsichord

: a keyboard instrument similar to a piano with strings that are plucked

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on harpsichord

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harpsichord

Spanish Central: Translation of harpsichord

Nglish: Translation of harpsichord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about harpsichord

Comments on harpsichord

What made you want to look up harpsichord? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!