\ 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 Also among the discoveries from the shipwrecks was a red gemstone engraved with a tiny image of a lyre, reports Amy Spiro for the Times of Israel. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Dec. 2021 The hills of Olympus have never been more than a few strums of the lyre away from the stages of the theater, but lately the mist of mythology has seemed particularly thick. Washington Post, 5 Dec. 2021 In most versions of the source myth, Orpheus is an artist/hero, strapping on his lyre like an AK-47 and charging into the mouth of hell to rescue his beloved wife Eurydice with a fusillade of irresistible music. Justin Davidson, Vulture, 24 Nov. 2021 The other is an image of the lyre and the head of the Greek god of music, Orpheus, who according to myth, continues to produce music after his death. Steven Litt, cleveland, 3 Oct. 2021 During one memorable appearance with the BSO in 1959, the pianist Rudolf Serkin broke his instrument's pedal lyre mid-performance., 5 May 2021 During one memorable appearance with the BSO in 1959, the pianist Rudolf Serkin broke his instrument’s pedal lyre mid-performance. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 4 May 2021 In Greek mythology, the lyre was the first instrument ever created. Ineye Komonibo,, 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,, 3 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Lyre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lyre


\ ˈlīr How to pronounce lyre (audio) \

Kids Definition of lyre

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

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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