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Crossword clues for spinet

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Piano students work on nine sturdy spinets in the Sherman auditorium.
▪ Small vertical pianos, especially the compact but musically compromised spinet, now constitute a negligible portion of the piano business.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spinet \Spin"et\, n. [OF. espinete, F. ['e]pinette (cf. It. spinetta), fr. L. spina a thorn; -- so called because its quills resemble thorns. See Spine.] (Mus.) A keyed instrument of music resembling a harpsichord, but smaller, with one string of brass or steel wire to each note, sounded by means of leather or quill plectrums or jacks. It was formerly much used.

Dumb spinet. (Mus.) See Manichordon.


Spinet \Spi"net\, n. [L. spinetum. See Spinny.] A spinny. [Obs.]
--B. Jonson.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1660s, spinette, "small harpsichord," from Middle French espinette (16c., Modern French épinette), from Italian spinetta, said by Scaliger to be a diminutive of spina "thorn, spine," from Latin spina "thorn" (see spine), so called because the strings were plucked with thorn-like quills [Barnhart]. The other theory (favored by Klein and assigned "greater probability" by OED) dates to early 17c. and claims the word is from the name of the Venetian inventor, Giovanni Spinetti (fl. c.1503). As "small, upright piano" from 1936.


Etymology 1 n. (context musical instruments English) A short, compact harpsichord or piano. Etymology 2

n. (context obsolete English) A spinney.

  1. n. small and compactly built upright piano

  2. early model harpsichord with only one string per note


Usage examples of "spinet".

The spirit of a world-famed violinist played as though behind veils a romance by Rubinstein, to a piano accompaniment that sounded thin and cold, like a spinet.

Duncan Phyfe sofa beneath the window, a spinet piano, and upholstered chairs on a knit rug before the fire.

Eons later in the Age of Romance, this likeness would inspire a plethora of sonnets by repressed ladies who played the spinet and reproduced parthenogenically by thinking of England.

Jane Fairfax, who is mistress of music, has not any thing of the nature of an instrument, not even the pitifullest old spinet in the world, to amuse herself with.

Seating herself at the little white and gold spinet, the Princess vArian began to pick out a tune, the sugared notes softly underscoring the well-modulated babble of Exalted voices.

The parlour carries through the stark elegance of the house, with plain chairs flanking a sideboard upstage right center, a fireplace with long straight mantel at right, and the corner of a spinet showing at downstage right.

She searched the imitation spinet desk, with the long cigarette burn still showing on the veneer, remembering with a little shudder the night it had been made there.

Before the spinet a bench was placed about four foot below the keys, and I was put upon the bench.

Her fingers raced over the keys of the spinet, wringing skeins of melody from them in complex arpeggios and glissades and counterpoint.

Despite his being a gambler and womanizer, his harpsichords and spinets are among the best produced.

He obsessively worked at mathematical problems, he tried to learn the spinet, he found a fascination in maps on which he refought the campaigns of two decades and, in so doing, pushed the bounds of Empire further than Napoleon had ever done.