American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A stringed instrument having a body shaped like a pear sliced lengthwise and a neck with a fretted fingerboard that is usually bent just below the tuning pegs.
- n. A substance, such as dried clay or cement, used to pack and seal pipe joints and other connections or coat a porous surface in order to make it tight. Also called luting.
- v. To coat, pack, or seal with lute.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A medieval musical instrument, the type of class which has strings stretched over a resonant body and a long fretted neck, and which is played by twanging or snapping the strings with the fingers. The back of the body was either flat, as in the modern guitar, or, more often, rounded or pear-shaped, like that of a mandolin. The front of the body, or belly, had one or more sound-holes. The strings were usually of catgut, arranged in pairs of unisons, and divided into two groups, one of which lay over the finger-board, so as to be stopped upon the frets, while the other lay beside the finger-board, so as to be played unstopped for the bass. The number of strings varied considerably, as did the tuning or accordatura; a common tuning for the six upper pairs of strings was and for the bass strings The frets were arranged so as to yield semitones. The tone was sweet, but light and incapable of much variation. The construction of the instrument was not strong enough to make the tuning sure or stable. In the effort to obtain varied and striking effects, many modifications were attempted, such as the archlute, the chitarrone, the harplute, and the theorbo, in which the number of strings was increased, the bass strings attached to a second neck above the first one, or metal strings introduced. A group or family of lutes of different sizes was also elaborated for concerted music; but the mechanical and acoustical feebleness of the type prevented the results from being permanently satisfactory. Great care was often expended, however, upon the wood and the decoration of lutes, so that many of them were very beautiful in appearance. Music for the lute was written in a peculiar system of letters or numerals called
tablature. Historically the lute is connected with the Egyptian nefer, and perhaps with the Hebrew nebel, and it continued in use in Europe till about 1750; its existing relatives are the guitar, the mandolin, and the banjo.
- To play on or as on a lute.
- To play the lute.
- To sound sweetly, like a lute.
- n. A composition of clay or other tenacious substance used for stopping the joints of vessels, as in chemical operations or in founding, so closely as to prevent the escape or entrance of air.
- n. An external coating of clay, sand, or other substance applied to a glass retort, to enable it to support a high temperature without fusing or cracking.
- n. A brickmakers’ straight-edge, a tool used to strike off surplus clay from a brick-mold, and to level the molding-floor.
- n. A rubber packing-ring compressed between the lip and the lid of a jar to exclude the air.
- To close or coat with lute; smear with any adhesive substance for the purpose of closing cracks or joints. A glass retort is said to be luted when it is smeared over with clay to enable it to resist more perfectly the effects of heat, and thus guard it against fusion.
- A Middle English form of lite .
- A Middle English form of lout .
- n. A fretted stringed instrument, similar to a guitar, having a bowl-shaped body or soundbox.
- v. To play on a lute, or as if on a lute.
- n. Thick sticky clay or cement used to close up a hole or gap, especially to make something air-tight.
- v. To fix or fasten something with lute.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Chem.) A cement of clay or other tenacious infusible substance for sealing joints in apparatus, or the mouths of vessels or tubes, or for coating the bodies of retorts, etc., when exposed to heat; -- called also
- n. A packing ring, as of rubber, for fruit jars, etc.
- n. (Brick Making) A straight-edged piece of wood for striking off superfluous clay from mold.
- v. To close or seal with lute
- n. (Mus.) A stringed instrument formerly much in use. It consists of four parts, namely, the table or front, the body, having nine or ten ribs or “sides,” arranged like the divisions of a melon, the neck, which has nine or ten frets or divisions, and the head, or cross, in which the screws for tuning are inserted. The strings are struck with the right hand, and with the left the stops are pressed.
- v. To sound, as a lute.
- v. To play on a lute, or as on a lute.
- n. a substance for packing a joint or coating a porous surface to make it impervious to gas or liquid
- n. chordophone consisting of a plucked instrument having a pear-shaped body, a usually bent neck, and a fretted fingerboard
- From Middle French lut (modern luth), from Old French leüt, probably from Old Provençal laüt, from Arabic العود (al-‘ūd, "wood") (probably representing an Andalusian Arabic or North African pronunciation). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French lut, from Old Provençal laut, from Arabic al-'ūd : al-, the + 'ūd, wood, branch, stem, lute.Middle English, from Old French lut, from Latin lutum, potter's clay. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“They must not suppose me cheerless my lute is here tis a fair deceit on them this lute which has so oft been damped with the tears from my sightless eyes the sound of it is the only indication I can give that I am contented with my lot!”
“The folk rejoiced in her song with exceeding joy and my gladness redoubled, so that I took the lute from the damsel and preluding after the most melodious fashion, sang these couplets,”
“The ch'in, or table-lute, is fully described in Note 114.”
“The "Shu table-lute" is an allusion to Ssŭ Ma Hsiang-ju, a great poet and musician, who was a native of Shu.”
“At such a time the calm spring melody of the lute is exquisite.”
“In these arrangements, and in planning their future movements relative to the rescue of Lady Helen, they passed several hours, and were only interrupted by the arrival of a lute from the queen for her minstrel to tune.”
“Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.”
“The oud adapted in the West is called a lute and differs slightly from the oud.”
“Qianlong's writing desk and his lute were the items that particularly attracted my attention.”
“The lute was her favorite instrument, and its tender notes accorded well with the sweet and melting tones of her voice.”
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