from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A keyboard instrument whose strings are plucked by means of quills or plectrums.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An instrument with a piano-like keyboard, which produces sound by plucking the strings
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A harp-shaped instrument of music set horizontally on legs, like the grand piano, with strings of wire, played by the fingers, by means of keys provided with quills, instead of hammers, for striking the strings. It is now superseded by the piano.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A stringed musical instrument in use in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, which in its form and in the arrangement of the keyboard and strings resembled a piano, but in which the tone was produced by the plucking or snapping of the strings by leather or quill points, which were set in jacks connected by levers with the keys.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a clavier with strings that are plucked by plectra mounted on pivots
Alteration of obsolete French harpechorde, from Italian arpicordo : arpa, harp (from Late Latin harpa, of Germanic origin) + corda, string (from Latin chorda, from Greek khordē).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin harpicordium, from harpa ("harp") + corda ("string"). (Wiktionary)