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 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
Recent Examples of lyre from the Web
There’s no evidence of this maniacal lyre-playing, but historians today still debate whether Nero orchestrated the disaster.
The scrolled feet, together with the lyre and wreath decoration, suggest to me that this lamp embraces the Arts and Crafts ideal while not quite abandoning the decorative elements of earlier pieces.
Other paintings bring to mind a lyre and a yoke or a helmet and a trident.
In Greek mythology, Orpheus, who reclaimed his dearest Eurydice from the underworld, played her a love song on his lyre, causing an elm grove to grow on the spot.
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.
Origin and Etymology of lyre
Middle English lire, from Anglo-French, from Latin lyra, from Greek
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
LYRE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lyre for English Language Learners
: a musical instrument with strings that was used especially in ancient Greece
LYRE Defined for Kids
Definition of lyre for Students
: a stringed musical instrument like a harp used by the ancient Greeks
Seen and Heard
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