\ˈstriŋ \

Definition of string 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a cord usually used to bind, fasten, or tie often used attributively a string bag

b : something that resembles a string garnished with potato strings

2a archaic : a cord (such as a tendon or ligament) of an animal body

b : a plant fiber (such as a leaf vein)

3a : the gut, wire, or nylon cord of a musical instrument

b strings plural

(1) : the stringed instruments of an orchestra

(2) : the players of such instruments

4 : the gut, wire, or cord of a racket or shooting bow

5a : a group of objects threaded on a string a string of fish a string of pearls

b(1) : a series of things arranged in or as if in a line a string of cars a string of names

(2) : a sequence of like items (such as bits, characters, or words)

c : a group of business properties scattered geographically a string of newspapers

d : the animals and especially horses belonging to or used by one individual

6a : a means of recourse : expedient

b : a group of players ranked according to skill or proficiency

7 : succession sense 3a a string of successes

8 : one of the inclined sides of a stair supporting the treads and risers

9a : balkline sense 1

b : the action of lagging for break in billiards

11 strings plural

a : contingent conditions or obligations

b : control, domination

12 : a hypothetical one-dimensional object that is infinitely thin but has a length of 10−33 centimeters, that vibrates as it moves through space, and whose mode of vibration manifests itself as a subatomic particle

on the string

: subject to one's influences


strung\ ˈstrəŋ \; stringing\ ˈstriŋ-​iŋ \

Definition of string (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to equip with strings

b : to tune the strings of

2 : to make tense : key up

3a : to thread on or as if on a string

b : to thread with objects

c : to tie, hang, or fasten with string

d : to put together (words, ideas, etc.) like objects threaded on a string strung her thoughts together

4 : to hang by the neck used with up

5 : to remove the strings of string beans

6a : to extend or stretch like a string string wires from tree to tree

b : to set out in a line or series often used with out

intransitive verb

1 : to move, progress, or lie in a string

2 : to form into strings



Definition of string (Entry 3 of 3)

: of or relating to stringed musical instruments the string section

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Other Words from string


stringless \ ˈstriŋ-​ləs \ adjective

Examples of string in a Sentence


She tied a string around the boxes. He tied the packages together with string.


We strung popcorn garlands for the Christmas tree. They strung wires from tree to tree. Scouts strung lanterns along the trail. She strung the key around her neck.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meghan Markle's maternity style streak continues with another string of impressive looks on royal tour. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears Jason Wu and Self-Portrait to Visit Fiji and Tonga During Royal Tour," 25 Oct. 2018 The charred remnants of the brand’s dual wooden handles have been wrapped in a few layers of towel and tied fast with string. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Kimbal Musk Is Reinventing Food One Shipping Container at a Time," 24 Oct. 2018 Alissa, however, claimed Jalissa was never real because Jake hooked up with a string of other girls right in front of her face. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Jake Paul's Biggest Controversies," 26 Sep. 2018 There are four foot pedals and a shuttle with string that must be pulled to draw the yarn from left to right and back again. Alex Frank, Vogue, "Woolmark Prize Winner Bodice Is a Handmade Homage to India—And So Much More," 8 Sep. 2018 But the La Jolla company has had to cope with a string of high-profile departures and management instability in recent months. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Human Longevity names interim CEO," 13 July 2018 Privacy - Terms The suspect fled the school and had police scrambling throughout Overland Park with a string of carjacking incidents. Lynn Horsley And Hana Muslic, kansascity, "Son can't fathom crime that took his father's life on Overland Park school playground," 5 July 2018 But the party blew its chance at a comeback with a string of corruption scandals that culminated in Lopez Obrador's victory on Sunday. Fox News, "Mexico's ruling party seeks way forward after drubbing," 3 July 2018 But the party blew its chance at a comeback with a string of corruption scandals that culminated in Lopez Obrador’s victory on Sunday. Mark Stevenson, The Seattle Times, "Mexico’s ruling party seeks way forward after drubbing," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The artists cut the gauzy fabric and spray painted it a rainbow selection of hues before stringing each cut-out across the courtyard of the ruin. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Stunning art installation fills 400-year-old Greek ruin with colorful ‘pixels’," 27 July 2018 No language in the world merely strings relevant signs together like emoji, or communicates at the tourist-abroad level of pointing and making exaggerated facial expressions. The Economist, "What Koko the gorilla could and couldn’t do," 5 July 2018 The bacteria strung these snippets together in order and stored them in its DNA, letting scientists replay the video. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, "CRISPR Goes to the Movies," 24 Jan. 2018 Bashan: Just outside the lantern strung streets of Chinatown, this Hunan restaurant is a real favorite. Tom Marchant, Harper's BAZAAR, "103 Things to Do, See, Eat and Shop in London," 7 Dec. 2017 The elaborate, building-height outdoor harp holds the Guinness World Record as the largest playable stringed instrument. Pam Kragen,, "Huge harp highlights free music day in Carlsbad," 20 June 2018 The kora, too, is a stringed instrument with a largely percussive charter. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in NYC This Weekend," 15 Mar. 2018 But in a confusing season, teams like that can string together a bunch of close wins, which is a credit to Clemson's veterans and coaching. ANYBODY'S GUESS 4. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "ACC Power Rankings: Louisville has company among several inconsistent teams," 7 Feb. 2018 Barbed wire was strung across some roads leading to the Lahore airport on Friday and barricades were positioned at the roadside ready to close off main boulevards should crowds start to gather. NBC News, "More than 100 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In their attempt to mimic the Beatles, the band employed new instrumentation and sounds, including the Mellotron, theremin, African rhythms, guitar loops, radio static and string arrangements from future Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. William Goodman, Billboard, "How The Rolling Stones Found Themselves on 'Satanic Majesties Request' by Getting Lost," 8 Dec. 2017

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for string


Middle English, from Old English streng; akin to Old High German strang rope, Latin stringere to bind tight — more at strain

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Statistics for string

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for string

The first known use of string was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for string



English Language Learners Definition of string

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, thin piece of twisted thread that you use to attach things, tie things together, or hang things

: a group of objects that are connected with a string, wire, chain, etc.

: a series of similar things



English Language Learners Definition of string (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (things) together on a string, thread, chain, etc.

: to place or hang (things) in a line or series

: to tie, hang, or fasten (something) with string


\ˈstriŋ \

Kids Definition of string

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thin cord used to bind, fasten, or tie

2 : something that resembles a string potato strings

3 : the gut, wire, or plastic cord of a musical instrument that vibrates to produce a tone when touched a guitar string

4 strings plural : the stringed instruments of an orchestra

5 : a group, series, or line of things threaded on a string or arranged as if strung together a string of lights a string of automobiles

6 : a series of events which follow each other in time a string of robberies

7 strings plural : requirements that are connected with something The agreement has no strings attached.


strung\ ˈstrəŋ \; stringing

Kids Definition of string (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to provide with strings string a violin

2 : thread entry 2 sense 4 string beads

3 : to tie, hang, or fasten with string She strung a key around her neck.

4 : to set or stretch out in a line Telephone lines were strung for miles.

5 : to remove the tough fibers of string peas

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Comments on string

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a private place of worship

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