\ ˈlī(-ə)r How to pronounce lyre (audio) \

Definition of lyre

1 : a stringed instrument of the harp class having an approximately U-shaped frame and used by the ancient Greeks especially to accompany song and recitation (see recitation sense 2)
2 : a small clip typically resembling a lyre that is use for holding sheet music and attaches to a musical instrument (such as a trombone)
3 capitalized : lyra

Illustration of lyre

Illustration of lyre

lyre 1

Examples of lyre in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Greek mythology, the lyre was the first instrument ever created. Ineye Komonibo,, "Ed Sheeran Is A Dad Now & His Daughter Has The Most Musical Name," 3 Sep. 2020 The lyre was infused with magic, powerful enough to charm people and even inanimate objects like trees, streams, and rocks. Ineye Komonibo,, "Ed Sheeran Is A Dad Now & His Daughter Has The Most Musical Name," 3 Sep. 2020 How’s that composition in C for flute and lyre coming along? Ali Ruth, The New Yorker, "Office Housework: A History," 7 Nov. 2019 The sculpture of a girl with lyre and the portrait medallion are by Auguste Clésinger. Liesl Bradner, Los Angeles Times, "Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison live on here: A stroll through Père-Lachaise Cemetery," 23 Oct. 2019 The lyre’s mournful throb was also heard whenever the Dolphins’ starting quarterback, Josh Rosen, touched the ball. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, "The Miami Dolphins and the Art of Losing to “Win”," 19 Oct. 2019 Must be able to play an accursed whalebone lyre while consuming five sticks of unsalted butter. Keaton Patti, The New Yorker, "Commercial Casting Breakdowns," 16 Aug. 2019 Apollo is holding a lyre and Venus is naked, painting on a canvas. Mercedes Leguizamon And Brandon Griggs, CNN, "A forgotten painting in an Iowa closet turns out to be a 16th-century masterwork worth millions," 2 Apr. 2018 Tiny samples yield big results One of the most captivating finds in the Prittlewell burial was the remains of a lyre - the first complete Anglo-Saxon example that's ever been found. Roff Smith, National Geographic, "New research questions famed burial of ‘first’ Christian Anglo-Saxon king," 8 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lyre.' 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 lyre

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lyre

Middle English lire, from Anglo-French, from Latin lyra, from Greek

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Time Traveler for lyre

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The first known use of lyre was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lyre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for lyre



English Language Learners Definition of lyre

: a musical instrument with strings that was used especially in ancient Greece


\ ˈlīr How to pronounce lyre (audio) \

Kids Definition of lyre

: a stringed musical instrument like a harp used by the ancient Greeks

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More from Merriam-Webster on lyre

Nglish: Translation of lyre for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lyre for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lyre

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