What does harp mean?

Definitions for harp

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word harp.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. harpnoun

    a chordophone that has a triangular frame consisting of a sounding board and a pillar and a curved neck; the strings stretched between the neck and the soundbox are plucked with the fingers

  2. harpnoun

    a pair of curved vertical supports for a lampshade

  3. harmonica, mouth organ, harp, mouth harpverb

    a small rectangular free-reed instrument having a row of free reeds set back in air holes and played by blowing into the desired hole

  4. harp, dwellverb

    come back to

    "Don't dwell on the past"; "She is always harping on the same old things"

  5. harpverb

    play the harp

    "She harped the Saint-Saens beautifully"


  1. harpnoun

    A musical instrument consisting of an upright frame strung with strings that are stroked or plucked with the fingers.

  2. harpnoun

    A harmonica.

  3. harpverb

    (usually with on) To repeatedly mention a subject.

    Why do you harp on about a single small mistake?

  4. harpverb

    To play on (a harp or similar instrument).

  5. harpverb

    To play (a tune) on the harp.

  6. harpverb

    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. uE00097495uE001 Shakespeare.

  7. Harpnoun

    for a player of the harp.

  8. Etymology: From hearpe, from harpōn. Cognate with Dutch harp, German Harfe, Swedish harpa.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. HARPnoun

    It is used through both the Teutonick and Roman dialects, and has been long in use.

    Etymology: hearp , Saxon; harpe, French.

    Romanusq; lyrâ plaudat tibi, Barbarus harpâ. Ven. Fort.].

    Arion, when through tempests cruel wreck
    He forth was thrown into the greedy seas,
    Through the sweet musick which his harp did make,
    Allur’d a dolphin him from death to ease. Edmund Spenser.

    They touch’d their golden harps, and hyming prais’d
    God and his works. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. vii.

    Nor wanted tuneful harp, nor vocal quire,
    The muses sung, Apollo touch’d the lyre. Dryden.

    Next shines the harp, and through the liquid skies
    The shell, as lightest, first begins to rise;
    This when sweet Orpheus struck, to list’ning rocks
    He senses gave, and ears to wither’d oaks. Thomas Creech, Manilus.

  2. To Harpverb

    Etymology: harper, French, from the noun.

    I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps. Rev.

    Things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped. 1 Cor. xiv. 7.

    The helmed cherubim,
    And sworded seraphim,
    Are seen in glitt’ring ranks with wings display’d,
    Harping in loud and solemn quire,
    With unexpressive notes to heav’n’s new-born heir. John Milton.

    I conceive you harp a little too much upon one string. Jeremy Collier, on Pride.

    Gracious duke,
    Harp not on that, nor do not banish reason For inequality; but let your reason serve
    To make the truth appear. William Shakespeare, Meas. for Measure.

    Macbeth, beware Macduff!
    Beware the thane of Fife: dismiss me: enough.
    ———— Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks:
    Thou’st harp’d my fear aright. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    He seems
    Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am,
    Not what he knew I was. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopatra.


  1. Harp

    The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard; the strings are plucked with the fingers. Harps can be made and played in various ways, standing or sitting, and in orchestras or concerts. Its most common form is triangular in shape and made of wood. Some have multiple rows of strings and pedal attachments. Ancient depictions of harps were recorded in Current-day Iraq (Mesopotamia), Iran (Persia), and Egypt, and later in India and China. By medieval times harps had spread across Europe. Harps were found across the Americas where it was a popular folk tradition in some areas. Distinct designs also emerged from the African continent. Harps have symbolic political traditions and are often used in logos, including in Ireland.


  1. harp

    A harp is a large, triangular musical instrument with strings stretched vertically across its length. It is played by plucking the strings with the fingers, which produces a soft, melodious sound. The harp is one of the oldest known musical instruments and comes in various sizes, ranging from small, handheld models to large, floor-standing versions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Harpnoun

    a musical instrument consisting of a triangular frame furnished with strings and sometimes with pedals, held upright, and played with the fingers

  2. Harpnoun

    a constellation; Lyra, or the Lyre

  3. Harpnoun

    a grain sieve

  4. Harpnoun

    to play on the harp

  5. Harpnoun

    to dwell on or recur to a subject tediously or monotonously in speaking or in writing; to refer to something repeatedly or continually; -- usually with on or upon

  6. Harpverb

    to play on, as a harp; to play (a tune) on the harp; to develop or give expression to by skill and art; to sound forth as from a harp; to hit upon

  7. Etymology: [OE. harpe, AS. hearpe; akin to D. harp, G. harfe, OHG. harpha, Dan. harpe, Icel. & Sw. harpa.]


  1. Harp

    The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category. All harps have a neck, resonator and strings. Some, known as frame harps, also have a pillar; those without the pillar are referred to as open harps. Depending on its size, which varies, a harp may be played while held in the lap or while it stands on a table, or on the floor. Harp strings may be made of nylon, gut, wire or silk. On smaller harps, like the folk harp, the core string material will typically be the same for all strings on a given harp. Larger instruments like the modern concert harp mix string materials to attain their extended ranges. A person who plays the harp is called a harpist or harper. Folk musicians often use the term "harper", whereas classical musicians use "harpist". Various types of harps are found in Africa, Europe, North and South America and in Asia. In antiquity, harps and the closely related lyres were very prominent in nearly all cultures. The harp also was predominant with medieval bards, troubadors and minnesingers throughout the Spanish Empire. Harps continued to grow in popularity due to improvements in their design and construction through the beginning of the 20th century.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Harp

    härp, n. a musical stringed instrument much esteemed by the ancients.—v.i. to play on the harp: to dwell tediously upon anything.—v.t. to give voice to.—ns. Harp′er, Harp′ist, a player on the harp.—n.pl. Harp′ings (naut.), the fore-parts of the wales surrounding the bow extensions of the rib-bands.—n. Harp′-shell, a genus of gasteropodous molluscs with inflated shell.—Harp on one string, to dwell constantly on one topic. [A.S. hearpe; Ger. harfe.]

Suggested Resources

  1. harp

    Song lyrics by harp -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by harp on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. HARP

    What does HARP stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the HARP acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. HARP

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Harp is ranked #2638 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Harp surname appeared 13,646 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 would have the surname Harp.

    82.9% or 11,325 total occurrences were White.
    10.4% or 1,421 total occurrences were Black.
    2.6% or 358 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.4% or 334 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1% or 141 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.4% or 67 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce harp?

How to say harp in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of harp in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of harp in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of harp in a Sentence

  1. Trisha Harp:

    When a couple feels like they are in this together, it supports both members of the team. It’s 'us versus them,' Harp says. For example, my husband calls us 'Team D T.' When spouses on Harp's surveys were asked how they handled stressful financial challenges, their number one answer was, We supported each other fully, she says. Now, of course it's up to both the entrepreneur and the spouse to determine how that support plays out, but, Asking pointed questions like, ‘When you’re stressed out because of the business, what can I do to make you feel supported?’ is always a good idea.

  2. Chad Wolf:

    They've taken programs away such as ACAs, MPP, HARP and PACR and all the enforcement mechanisms we have and they haven't replaced them with anything, and so I think the only way to read that is they’re going to do catch and release because they believe that's the right way to do it.

  3. Trisha Harp:

    Harp's data showed that entrepreneurs who set shared long-term business and family goals with their spouses scored higher in every area of satisfaction than those who didn’t. On her surveys, entrepreneurs who set shared business goals were 17 percent happier than those who didn’t; and 27 percent who set shared family goals reported higher levels of satisfaction. Of those who set shared family goals, 98 percent reported being still in love with their spouse. Contrary to what one might believe, Harp's data showed that when entrepreneurs shared both positive and negative aspects of the business on a regular basis, the other spouse's trust and confidence in the entrepreneur actually increased. Sharing on a regular basis increases the spouse's belief in their entrepreneur’s ability to succeed, Harp says. When the entrepreneur chooses not to share, the spouse usually knows when something is wrong, simply by observing his/her partner’s demeanor. The not knowing leads to frustration, anxiety and impatience, Harp says. However, when the entrepreneur shares on a regular basis, the spouse is privy to the solutions the entrepreneur is considering, she adds. And discussions make the non-entrepreneur spouse feel as if he or she is contributing. This helps increase a spouse's ‘buy-in’ and makes them feel like it is ‘our’ company instead of just ‘your company,’.

  4. Robertson Davies:

    The world is burdened with young fogies. Old men with ossified minds are easily dealt with. But men who look young, act young and everlastingly harp on the fact that they are young, but who nevertheless think and act with a degree of caution that would be excessive in their grandfathers, are the curse of the world. Their very conservatism is secondhand, and they don't know what they are conserving.

  5. Naked Gun From the Files of Police Squad:

    Frank I'd known her for years. We used to go to all the police functions together. Ah, how I loved her, but she had her music. I think she had her music. She'd hang out with the Chicago Male Chorus and Symphony. I don't recall her playing an instrument or be able to carry a tune. Yet she was on the road 300 days of the year. In fact I bought her a harp for christmas. She asked me what it was.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for harp

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"harp." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/harp>.

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    property that provides tax income for local governments
    • A. rateables
    • B. bowel
    • C. cycling
    • D. match

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