from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of the strings or cords of a harp.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I looked at Tarhov; he was quivering all over inwardly, like a tightly drawn harpstring; he was tingling all over, hardly could he hold back the tide of brimming youth and passion; violent, ecstatic happiness had burst into his soul, and had taken full possession of him — and he of it.

    Punin and Baburin

  • The wire hawser between her and the Diana, stretched as taut as a harpstring, vibrated alarmingly.

    Falk, by Joseph Conrad

  • This first note was followed by another, bolder and prolonged, but still obviously quivering, like a harpstring when suddenly struck by a stray finger it throbs in a last, swiftly-dying tremble; the second was followed by a third, and, gradually gaining fire and breadth, the strains swelled into a pathetic melody.

    A Sportsman's Sketches

  • From the vibrating line extending the entire length of the upper part of the boat, and from its now being more tight than a harpstring, you would have thought the craft had two keels — one cleaving the water, the other the air — as the boat churned on through both opposing elements at once.

    Moby Dick; or the Whale

  • He rang the bell, which thrummed like a giant harpstring, sending its tones through Peter, and making the tower shiver.

    The Serpent's Shadow

  • His voice sounded strange to his own ears, like a harpstring tightened too far.

    Chosen Of The Gods

  • Then, as Keisha's nerves wound tighter and tighter, like an overtuned harpstring, the spell - or whatever it was - finally broke.


  • Instead of one harpstring vibrating in the stillness, producing a single clear note, imagine many sounding all together, all on different notes.

    Dark Mirror

  • Violence echoed on the air with the disso-nance of a snapped harpstring, and the stains on his hands darkened, dried, and blew away as dust.


  • Though his reply to Tathagres held no emotion, Emien sensed threat underlying, subtle and low as a scraped harpstring.



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