a. Material made of drawn-out, twisted fiber, used for fastening, tying, or lacing.
b. A strand or cord of such material.
a. A cord stretched on an instrument and struck, plucked, or bowed to produce tones.
b. strings The section of a band or orchestra composed of stringed instruments, especially violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.
c. strings Stringed instruments or their players considered as a group.
3. Something resembling a string or appearing as a long, thin line: limp strings of hair.
4. A plant fiber.
5. Physics One of the extremely minute objects that form the basis of string theory.
a. A set of objects threaded together or attached on a string: a string of beads.
b. A number of objects arranged in a line: a string of islands.
c. Computers A set of consecutive characters.
7. A series of similar or related acts, events, or items: a string of victories. See Synonyms at series.
a. A set of animals, especially racehorses, belonging to a single owner; a stable.
b. A scattered group of businesses under a single ownership or management: a string of boutiques.
a. A group of players ranked according to ability within a team: He made the second string.
b. A complete game consisting of ten frames in bowling.
a. A stringboard.
b. A stringcourse.
11. Games The balk line in billiards.
12. Informal A limiting or hidden condition. Often used in the plural: a gift with no strings attached.
v. strung (strŭng), string·ing, strings
1. To fit or furnish with strings or a string: string a guitar; string a tennis racket.
2. To stretch out or extend: string a wire across a room.
3. To thread on a string: string popcorn.
4. To arrange in a line or series: strung the words into a sentence.
5. To fasten, tie, or hang with a string or strings: string a hammock between trees.
6. To strip (vegetables) of fibers.
To extend or progress in a string, line, or succession: "We followed the others stringing through the narrow paved paths" (Susan Richards Shreve).
string along Informal
1. To go along with something; agree.
2. To keep (someone) waiting or in a state of uncertainty.
3. To fool, cheat, or deceive.
To draw out; prolong.
string up InformalIdiom:
To kill (someone) by hanging.
on a/the string
Under one's complete control or influence.
[Middle English, from Old English streng.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.