- 1 English
- 2 Dutch
- 3 Turkish
- 4 Turkmen
From Middle English harpe, from Old English hearpe (“harp”), from Proto-Germanic *harpǭ (“harp”). Cognate with Scots hairp (“harp”), West Frisian harpe, harp (“harp”), Low German Harp (“harp”), Dutch harp (“harp”), German Harfe (“harp”), Danish harpe (“harp”), Swedish harpa (“harp”).
harp (plural harps)
- (music) A musical instrument consisting of a body and a curved neck, strung with strings of varying length that are stroked or plucked with the fingers and are vertical to the soundboard when viewed from the end of the body
1568, William Cornishe [i.e., William Cornysh], “In the Fleete Made by Me William Cornishe otherwise Called Nyshwhete Chapelman with the Most Famose and Noble Kyng Henry the VII. His Reygne the XIX. Yere the Moneth of July. A Treatise betwene Trouth, and Information.”, in John Skelton, J[ohn] S[tow], editor, Pithy Pleasaunt and Profitable Workes of Maister Skelton, Poete Laureate, Imprinted at London: In Fletestreate, neare vnto Saint Dunstones Churche by Thomas Marshe, OCLC 54747393; republished as Pithy Pleasaunt and Profitable Workes of Maister Skelton, Poete Laureate to King Henry the VIIIth, London: Printed for C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, 1736, OCLC 731569711, page 290:
- The Harpe. […] A harper with his wreſt maye tune the harpe wrong / Mys tunying of an Inſtrument ſhal hurt a true ſonge
- Any instrument of the same musicological type.
- (colloquial) A harmonica.
- (Scotland) A grain sieve.
- (heraldry) A heraldic representation of the musical instrument used as a charge, as in the arms of Ireland.
- 2013. The Physics of Musical Instruments. Neville H. Fletcher, Thomas Rossing. Pg. 331.
- (usually with on) To repeatedly mention a subject.
Why do you harp on a single small mistake?(US)
Why do you harp on about a single small mistake?(UK)
- (transitive) To play on (a harp or similar instrument)
- (transitive) To play (a tune) on the harp.
- (transitive) To develop or give expression to by skill and art; to sound forth as from a harp; to hit upon.
Thou harped my fear aright.— Shakespeare.
- letter (of an alphabet)