spin·​et ˈspi-nət How to pronounce spinet (audio)
 also  spi-ˈnet
: an early harpsichord having a single keyboard and only one string for each note
: a compactly built small upright piano
: a small electronic organ

Examples of spinet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s mixed with a spinet piano that has been treated with tacks in the hammers and has also been detuned a fair amount. Paul Grein, Billboard, 24 Feb. 2023 An American faux-bamboo-and-pine writing table, an American Victorian spinet writing desk. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, 16 Nov. 2022 The Kelsey Lu collab builds off a melancholy harpsichord melody, originally recorded by pianist Chilly Gonzalez on a spinet. Katie Bain, Billboard, 19 Mar. 2021 Your desk dates from around 1925 and gets its name from the design resemblance to spinet harpsicords and pianos. oregonlive, 3 Jan. 2020 Manilow learned to play the accordion, and then a cheap spinet piano. Rob Tannenbaum, New York Times, 5 Aug. 2019 The Calligraphie Florale cuff is striking both for its composition in white gold, white and brownish diamonds, pink sapphires, black spinets, and tsavorite garnets as for its handling of negative space. Vogue, 28 June 2018 In the high-ceilinged taproom, which shares floor space with the tanks, a broken spinet piano is incorporated into the bar. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spinet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian spinetta, perhaps from diminutive of spina thorn, from Latin; from the manner of plucking its strings

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spinet was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near spinet

Cite this Entry

“Spinet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinet. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


spin·​et ˈspin-ət How to pronounce spinet (audio)
: a low piano built with the strings running up and down

More from Merriam-Webster on spinet

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