Definition of string in US English:



  • 1Material consisting of threads of cotton, hemp, or other material twisted together to form a thin length.

    • ‘Then the bristles are put together and tied with string.’
    • ‘Mikki was threading lengths of string between four wooden pegs to mark out her chosen plot when the minibus arrived, half an hour later.’
    • ‘My dryer was a length of string which ran across my bedroom from the mirror into the cupboard.’
    • ‘Looms can be restrung for future projects with cotton string.’
    • ‘His blades are so desirable they sell (if you can find one) for the price of a good used pickup truck and they're unlikely ever to be used to cut even a length of string.’
    • ‘An easy way to steam asparagus if you don't have a proper steamer is to tie the stalks together with string, stand them upright in a pan and cover with a loose foil dome.’
    • ‘Today, even though they have access to machine-made nylon or cotton string, the people of Kiribati prefer handmade cord.’
    • ‘Pierce a hole in the top of each decoration and thread string through.’
    • ‘Favourites in days gone by included lifting gates off hinges and re-hanging them the wrong way round, tying door-knockers together with string and knocking on doors and running away.’
    • ‘Wendy spent every second of her spare time cutting thousands of triangle-shaped flags from scrap material, then, helped by friends, she sewed each flag onto a length of string.’
    • ‘Eight protesters tied themselves together with string and for ten minutes chanted, ‘Stop selling arms to oppressive regimes.’’
    • ‘Creativity goes beyond paint and canvas, tap shoes, travel, beads and string, needle and thread.’
    • ‘Scrap wood, darning needles, string and sealing wax held his flimsy contraption together.’
    • ‘Colorful hammocks are woven from fine cotton string.’
    • ‘Starting at the short side, roll up the roast and tie with a 100 percent cotton string at 1-inch intervals.’
    • ‘The literature of ancient Egypt was written on rolls of papyrus, that of ancient Mesopotamia on clay tablets, that of ancient China on strips of bamboo held together with string, and so forth.’
    • ‘These buttons, with no two alike, were then strung on a length of strong string.’
    • ‘Tie two strings round a pencil so you have four ends hanging down.’
    • ‘You know the kind I'm talking about: you punch a hole in the bottom of two cans, thread strong string through, knot it, and pull it tight when you talk.’
    • ‘When completely dry, thread ribbon or string through the hole of the ornament.’
    twine, cord, yarn, thread, strand, fibre
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    1. 1.1 A piece of string used to tie around or attach to something.
      • ‘I spent a long time undoing five knots from one length of yo-yo string.’
      • ‘Step 1: Take the blind apart by cutting the connecting strings where they come out of the headrain and where they go into the baserail.’
      • ‘The long, thin string and the heavy bob will enable the pendulum to swing unencumbered for hours and hours and hours.’
      • ‘Lucky did as he was told and pulled the string that was connected to a blue balloon.’
      • ‘Now I plant plenty of ‘Kentucky Wonder’ pole beans to dry on strings and enjoy all winter, too.’
      • ‘The model had a set of strings attached to one of its wings.’
      • ‘Yes, maybe he will be, but could you not see the strings attached to Vajpayee's limbs?’
      • ‘Soon, she was flipping out her hands and shaking her hips rigidly as if her body parts were attached with strings and the evil DJ was controlling them.’
      • ‘We were conspirators, seizing the opportunity to cut the strings from the other's kite!’
      • ‘For the adventurous players, home made bows of rosined string or even fishing line will suffice.’
      • ‘Most of the other creations showed doves, the symbols of peace, holding on to strings attached to planet earth.’
      • ‘A set of raffia strings connect the skins on either end.’
      • ‘One of the simplest ways for investigators to determine if a UFO photo has been faked is to look for the wire, string, or thread that suspended the model.’
      • ‘McLean attaches the strings to my harness and sets me loose.’
      • ‘There are strings of about half meter long attaching the balloons to the tables.’
      • ‘If you were to attach two strings to the centre of the wheel and hang it off the ceiling, you could spin the wheel and let it keep spinning in mid-air.’
      • ‘The bikini bottom had strings that tied together at the sides to keep it on, and the bikini top was halter style.’
      • ‘The fan, whose rotating blades had been disabled had strings attached to the fan housing, radiating out from it through 360 degrees.’
      • ‘Outside, charpoys cradled drivers, some sleeping, others sitting cross-legged on the woven strings, scooping food on to triangles of chapati from tin plates and bowls.’
      • ‘It was apparent the two children who had been harassing me tenaciously were merely puppets attached to a string with the other end in the grip of that woman.’
    2. 1.2 A piece of catgut or similar material interwoven with others to form the head of a sports racket.
      • ‘Tennis balls stay on the racket strings for only a few milliseconds and are several feet away by the time a signal from your hand can travel to your brain and back to generate a correction.’
      • ‘Change the dimensions of the court: Tennis courts were drawn up when rackets were made of wood and strings were made of sheepskin.’
      • ‘At such pressure, the rackets were extremely vulnerable: one year Borg broke strings on 60 rackets during the French Open.’
      • ‘It's a private moment at his locker in which he routinely wipes away dirt, applies a protective cream and checks the strength of the strings.’
      • ‘She also was bothered by her racket strings, opponent Emilie Loit's style and the weather.’
      • ‘He was handing the racket I used, now missing a few strings, back to Maki.’
      • ‘The 20 year-old was never the same after breaking a string at 4-4 in the first set.’
      • ‘With these light but well-balanced rackets, the ball stays on the strings longer, giving extra control and more spin, yet it still jumps off with zing.’
      • ‘The trouble with tennis these days is that a helpless child could hit a serve at a 100 mph because of them strings!’
      • ‘He broke strings in both his Prince rackets during the victory and had to use his third - choice Wilson racket to complete the victory, doubles partner Tom Sanders lending him a spare just in case.’
      • ‘There was a beautiful stop volley, a shot so delicate that the ball barely seemed to contact the strings at all.’
      • ‘It smashed off the strings of his racket and over to my side of the court.’
      • ‘Henin-Hardenne loses a point at 30-when a string breaks on her racket.’
      • ‘It's not like you've got to hit the thing hard - the strings do all the work for you.’
      • ‘He seems to be playing the ball in sheer delight at the things he can do with it, playing with a racket whose strings are one moment cobweb, the next piano-wire.’
      • ‘Yes that's right, its time to dust the cobwebs off the old wooden racket, tighten the strings on the shiny racket that has only seen a tennis ball in two weeks total out of this last four years.’
      • ‘And it held the ball on the strings longer, allowing athletes to impart greater topspin on the ball than they would with a normal topspin stroke.’
      • ‘What he drew up was a putter that had strings similar to a tennis racket.’
      • ‘The only gifts I can remember at this instant were a tennis racket without any strings, and square hula-hoops.’
    3. 1.3 A length of catgut or wire on a musical instrument, producing a note by vibration.
      • ‘The mechanism that he winds with the handle to pluck the strings makes more noise than the actual musical notes of the strings themselves.’
      • ‘The shamisen is a lute instrument with three strings.’
      • ‘The strings, of catgut or wire, are all of the same length but of different thicknesses, and are all tuned to the same note.’
      • ‘As for the title track, why not use plucked strings, craggy violin bowing, and rumbling xylophones to gleefully pervert the title's sentiment?’
      • ‘This acts as a wonderful foil to the modal hymn tune with plucked strings in the bass attempting to calm matters down.’
      • ‘Even before the first guitar strings were plucked, Young made it clear that the spirit of Farm Aid was alive and well.’
      • ‘Take for instance, his cantata: the use of pizzicato, or plucking strings, to express the clashing of swords.’
      • ‘Irish harpers used their fingernails on the wire strings of their harps, again probably near the soundboard.’
      • ‘Through amplification and loudspeakers, the singer's voice vibrates the open piano strings.’
      • ‘He takes a monochord, like a single string on a musical instrument.’
      • ‘Her fingers strummed the strings creating sad melodies.’
      • ‘Tchaikovsky's strings were gut rather than metal and were played with little vibrato.’
      • ‘There are metallic overtones and an accompanying percussive sound, as if something were pounding upon an electric guitar's strings.’
      • ‘Guitar strings are ripped, drums thrashed and the blitzkrieg commences.’
      • ‘Bassist Palladino can strum four strings, but his notes are delicate, dainty plucks compared to Entwistle's ability to work an electric bass.’
      • ‘Her fingers stilled on the keys as the piano strings stopped their vibrations and the lounge was silent again.’
      • ‘It was Pythagoras who was the first person to study the notes emitted by plucked strings of various lengths.’
      • ‘Pythagoras saw the connection between music and numbers and clearly understood how the note produced by a string related to its length.’
      • ‘She plays a Slavic stringed instrument whose strings are of different lengths and heights, producing a sound softer than that of the violin.’
      • ‘The guitar returns, its strings seemingly snapped frantically as crackling pebbles fuse into a single shrill noise.’
    4. 1.4strings The stringed instruments in an orchestra.
      • ‘The pieces can be used for a quartet of the same type instruments such as strings, recorders, saxophones or wind and brass combinations.’
      • ‘As always, Orton doesn't stick to the normal acoustic guitars and occasional strings.’
      • ‘The album is ripe with folk and country elements as well and encompasses many instruments, from epic strings to mouth organ and horns.’
      • ‘The majority of this album is built up around similar ambiences as the trio elaborate poignant melodies and impressive arrangements, complete with guitars, strings and horns.’
      • ‘They've grown up and want us to realise it; this album is more low key and features an impressive array of instruments including a ukulele, zithers, brass and strings.’
      • ‘In fact the opening title track is a bit orchestral, though swamped with shortwave radio static and increasingly fractured, distorted bursts of strings, organ and guitar.’
      • ‘Linkin have matured in the interim (if by maturing one means adding pianos and strings to their guitar assault).’
      • ‘The strings provide a foundation over which the brass soar.’
      • ‘From whooping theremins to massed strings and synths, music furnishes our future dreams.’
      • ‘The guitars, strings, wind instruments, synths and God knows what else in the mix are used sparingly but effectively.’
      • ‘But for those who cared, Guthrie's adept pop songwriting and smooth consolidation of orch strings and guitars made for some good, good times.’
      • ‘The electric bleeps and clicks that lie scattered across aching swathes of strings and delicate guitars work perfectly, like crickets serenading sleepers on a warm summer's night.’
      • ‘On this album there aren't any real strings or any orchestra instruments like harp or timpani.’
      • ‘Everything - strings, clarinets, guitars - is rendered in Technicolor.’
      • ‘‘Nan's Song’ is a beautiful strings and acoustic guitar song number and a fitting conclusion to his best album yet.’
      • ‘There are times when Jonsi's falsetto is right in your ear and at times it's like your in the middle of a thunder storm of wailing strings and distorted guitars.’
      • ‘Blending strings and chunky distorted guitars works well, especially on ‘Borderline.’’
      • ‘Raw strings and belting brass convey the hell-on-earth of the Dutchman's existence.’
      • ‘In Psalm 150, we find the trumpet, lute, and harp, cymbals, strings and pipe.’
      • ‘I Love LA relies heavily on acoustic guitars and strings offset by a series of well-constructed electronic blips and beeps.’
      stringed instruments
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    5. 1.5as modifier Relating to or consisting of stringed instruments.
      ‘a string quartet’
      • ‘He began composing late in life, completing six symphonies and nine string quartets.’
      • ‘The 10 tracks are based more in piano than acoustic guitar, and feature more string orchestration than before: not exactly killer on first listen.’
      • ‘There is no messing around with extraneous instrumentation or string sections here.’
      • ‘"Midnight " flourishes with an orchestral string arrangement and a surging chorus to suit.’
      • ‘When you need that Mike Pinder string sound for your Moody Blues sound-alike or that Kraftwerk human choir thing, dial up the M-Tron!’
      • ‘Even more telling is the group's almost complete abandonment of the gentle string melodies and structured songs that won them a following in the first place.’
      • ‘The string players brought tremendous energy and concentration to the apocalyptic visions of the Allegretto.’
      • ‘A piano and stringed instruments were purchased and the family formed a string quartet.’
      • ‘His compositions comprise mainly chamber music, including string quartets and accompanied keyboard sonatas.’
      • ‘I was introduced to Biangai string band music by Sampson.’
      • ‘Copenhagen Classic is a string sextet ensemble from Denmark that had its debut in 1997.’
      • ‘The production and studio sound is excellent, the songs in Irish attractive, the string arrangements gorgeous and the instrumental dexterity often dazzling.’
      • ‘The major work last night was Don Quixote, that staple of National Youth Orchestra string audition extracts.’
      • ‘In some cases, the composer himself arranged the music for string orchestra.’
      • ‘While Horntveth played most of the instruments himself, he got a nine-piece string ensemble on board to supply some extra textures.’
      • ‘He had already recorded the string orchestra and his guitar on his own.’
      • ‘Vassilev is also the founder and leader of Laureate, an exclusive string ensemble made up of international prize-winning string instrumentalists.’
      • ‘It was cool for 15 minutes, then everyone started writing everybody else's songs with all the same string band instrumentations.’
      • ‘Beautiful musicianship, some great string arrangements and a variety of additional instruments all contribute to a great album.’
      • ‘Subtle horns creak from enveloping static before becoming lost in an overbearing string arrangement.’
  • 2A set of things tied or threaded together on a thin cord.

    ‘she wore a string of agates around her throat’
    • ‘Use natural or painted wooden beads, or strings of cranberries or popcorn to drape the tree instead of tinsel.’
    • ‘There will also be a variety of olives, cider and wine, which can be sampled before you buy and strings of onions, shallots and garlic.’
    • ‘Each poster depicts a fat Italian surrounded by hams, salamis, and strings of garlic.’
    • ‘In the kitchen there are dozens of jars of ground chiles and hot sauces, strings of whole peppers, and baskets of fresh ones.’
    • ‘In the open-fronted azotea or attic room of the village houses, corn cobs, sliced egg-plants, strings of red peppers and tomatoes are hung up to dry.’
    • ‘One man was holding a long string of rosary beads in his trembling hands.’
    • ‘Add some cranberries to your popcorn string for a touch of color.’
    • ‘Cranberries and popcorn strings interspersed among tiny white lights layered over the smell of a fresh cut fir tree.’
    • ‘The strings of red peppers, chillies or maize drying from verandas are common.’
    • ‘Heart Buchanan fills its quirky windows with strings of chilli peppers and pink net constructions encrusted with love hearts which allow views into its warm interior.’
    strand, rope, necklace, rosary, chaplet
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    1. 2.1 A sequence of similar items or events.
      ‘a string of burglaries’
      • ‘Wayland then manages to turn the tables on them in a rather surprising string of plot twists.’
      • ‘These four cities together with a string of interconnected towns, form the Randstad, which has a population of 6,100,000.’
      • ‘I think it's going to be one of those years where it's a bat tie all the way to the end, and if we can put a string of races together, then maybe we can put ourselves in the championship hunt.’
      • ‘Through these broadcasts we can watch Germany drifting into a war in 1939 followed by the string of amazing victories in 1940.’
      • ‘Rice commented on the string of injuries that have affected the Schwikerts and their teammates.’
      • ‘The Mariners and the Tigers scratch out their runs with bunts, strings of hits and a willingness to move the runners.’
      • ‘Earlier this year a judge ruled that a man left severely brain-damaged after his car skidded and crashed on wet tram rails in 1995 was not to blame, paving the way for a string of compensation claims.’
      • ‘The great string of victories beginning at Naseby in June 1645 was the product not of its zeal, but of regular pay.’
      • ‘Detectives are piecing together the evidence of what appears to be a string of related incidents in Irkutsk.’
      • ‘Last Saturday, he didn't strike out a batter or walk one, instead happily settling for a long string of ground balls.’
      • ‘Earlier this season Sale blew a golden opportunity to beat Saracens at Vicarage Road and have a score to settle for a previous string of heavy defeats by the Watford-based outfit.’
      • ‘Not for nothing has he presided over a string of setbacks in meaningless friendlies, while also putting together a sequence of just two defeats in 21 competitive internationals.’
      • ‘Starring together in a string of grade B romance adventures, the couple had become the hottest item in Hollywood.’
      • ‘But after what seemed a routine pregnancy, their son, Adam, was stillborn - the first in a long string of misfortunes.’
      • ‘Vince Clarke and Andy Bell have been working together for 21 years, churning out a string of hits and outrageous stage shows.’
      • ‘All twelve celebrities taking part will jet off to the paradise island this week where they will stay on the beach in traditional bamboo huts before being paired off together for a string of dates..’
      • ‘Now he grabs the telephone, punches in a string of numbers and clasps the receiver to his ear, knuckles white with pressure.’
      • ‘In 1965, Kaat won 18 games for a Twins team that broke the Yankees five-year string of American League pennants.’
      • ‘The play features a string of realistic scenes tied together only by the fact that they take place on holidays: Mother's Day, Father's Day, Canada Day.’
      • ‘Temple also notes that the tradition of making films about festivals, which reached its zenith in the early 1970s, has hardly produced a string of cinematic masterpieces.’
      series, succession, chain, sequence, concatenation, run, streak
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    2. 2.2Computing A linear sequence of characters, words, or other data.
      • ‘The latter part of the string consists of alphanumeric characters, with slashes interspersed.’
      • ‘Fitness functions include a simple linear problem for binary strings and classification of data sets which are dynamically loaded from a specified data file.’
      • ‘Today, it's almost impossible to prove that any raw text is original without searching for a selected string of words in a search engine.’
      • ‘Sometimes, though, the password is not really the string of alphanumeric characters you typed but instead a randomly assigned sequence.’
      • ‘Additional null characters may follow the string, padding it out to a size that ensures the following structure is properly aligned.’
    3. 2.3 A group of racehorses trained at one stable.
      • ‘Marlow added that training his own string had always been his goal.’
      • ‘I'd be at Aintree, preparing to see one of my string of racehorses running tomorrow, before taking my helicopter back to my mansion.’
      • ‘The fact that she owned a string of race horses could be politely overlooked.’
      • ‘Burke said the purse structure and easy access to Turfway through international flights in and out of Cincinnati convinced him to stable a small string there.’
      • ‘A tax exile living in Geneva, McManus has a large string of horses trained in England, Ireland and France.’
    4. 2.4 A team or player holding a specified position in an order of preference.
      ‘Gary was first string on the varsity football team’
      • ‘But he relegated Harbaugh to third string behind Ryan Leaf and Moses Moreno at the start of the season.’
      • ‘Matthews started three games for the Bears last year; Wuerffel was third string on the same team.’
      • ‘But despite being the third string at Selby, Charlie Booth's side have a formidable spirit of team-work and have beaten a number of higher ranked teams before.’
      • ‘At Montgomery Blair High School, Francis was academically ineligible as a freshman, and then a third string varsity bench warmer as a sophomore.’
      • ‘With the Premier title already in the bag and the FA Sunday Cup final looming on Sunday, Albion Sports paraded most of their third string for the visit of bogey side Crown.’
  • 3A tough piece of fiber in vegetables, meat, or other food, such as a tough elongated piece connecting the two halves of a bean pod.

    • ‘Cut the melon in halves, spoon out the seeds and strings.’
    • ‘Remove the outside strings from the runner beans and finely shred the beans.’
    • ‘That sideways tear gets rid of the tough string that sometimes runs along the edge of the pod.’
    • ‘To bake a fresh 6 to 7 pound pumpkin, halve the pumpkin crosswise and scoop out the seeds and strings.’
    • ‘First, separate the seeds from the pulp and gently rinse them to remove pulp and any strings.’
  • 4

    short for stringboard
    • ‘Each of them is made of beautifully laid rough solid buff Cambridge-like brick with very precise precast concrete lintels and strings.’
  • 5Physics
    A hypothetical one-dimensional subatomic particle having the dynamical properties of a flexible loop.

    • ‘In superstring theory, particles are not treated as particles at all but as oscillations in one-dimensional entities called strings.’
    • ‘String theory is a quantum theory where the fundamental objects are one dimensional strings and not pointlike particles.’
    • ‘It's something particles cannot do, because a particle cannot get wrapped around a circle like a string.’
    • ‘Also, string theory has motivated an understanding of black holes in higher dimensions, and of black extended objects such as strings and branes.’
    • ‘This was a deadly flaw for a theory of hadrons, but not for a theory in which all matter, including photons, are strings.’
    1. 5.1 A hypothetical threadlike concentration of energy within the structure of space–time.
      • ‘Similarly, when the string moves in space and time, it warps the space around it just as Einstein predicted.’
      • ‘Young theorists are encouraged in such reasoning by their senior colleagues, some of whom have recently become enamored of the possibility of operating time machines near cosmic strings or wormholes.’
      • ‘It is just the stuff to hold wormholes open with; the more the gravity of the black holes involved tries to squeeze the wormhole shut, the more the cosmic string will expand and hold it open.’
      • ‘It attempts to reduce all matter, all energy, and all their interactions to the existence of higher-dimensional vibrating strings of energy.’
      • ‘Massive cosmic strings would also be excellent candidates for gravitational lensing.’


  • 1with object and adverbial Hang (something) so that it stretches in a long line.

    ‘lights were strung across the promenade’
    • ‘He strings thousands of lights from the trees on his property to the delight of many driving by.’
    • ‘Joe and Adam had just finished straightening the fence posts and were starting to string the wire when a bright light flashed about them.’
    • ‘Nets are strung on the exterior frame to catch falling objects, and every other floor is planked to stop falls.’
    • ‘We do have a corner lot with a quaint picket fence running along it so we string lights on there.’
    • ‘When night fell, they strung lights so he could see.’
    • ‘But a utility could spend even more to string new high-voltage lines to match the same capacity increase.’
    • ‘His subjects include the rugged, interior domesticity of Kgoro, a rock-circled site where laundry is strung on a line like lanterns.’
    • ‘Joe is the guy that built the wooden fence around the back yard so I could keep my two malamutes in, and when they kept digging out under it, it was Joe that strung the electric wire to change their minds.’
    • ‘Laundry was strung on a line across the bow, and on the tarred roll roofing an old dinghy was lashed down, painted with the same lavish decor as her mother ship.’
    • ‘Colorful lanterns were strung around lighting up the pathways.’
    • ‘As the miners dig, they lay railroad track, string electrical power lines, and install pipes to supply fresh air and water.’
    • ‘Eddie McCarthy scampered about among the branches stringing lights all over, and finally placing the big, illuminated star on the very highest point.’
    • ‘At first I thought he was unhooking them from a line he'd placed in the water but then saw that he'd strung a nylon net clear across the stream.’
    • ‘I strung the lights, and wove them in and out of branches.’
    • ‘Outside lighting can be as simple as stringing a set of lights around a tree or for Christmas enthusiasts creating a winter wonderland in the garden.’
    • ‘Recycle those tiny white holiday lights by stringing them over a balcony or across a wall or ceiling.’
    • ‘We strung a piece of concertina wire across the highway 100 yards ahead of our position to warn drivers to stop.’
    • ‘No one's outside, though a few assorted articles of clothing are strung up on laundry lines.’
    • ‘One of those young men lived on my road, and after he died his parents strung his name in Christmas lights across the side of their house.’
    • ‘In a brief moment of inspiration, I strung some string from the deck to the garage, sliced up some orange and green garbage bags into ribbons and tied them to the line.’
    hang, suspend, sling, stretch
    stretch, sling, run, fasten, tie, secure, link
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    1. 1.1 Thread (a series of small objects) on a string.
      ‘he collected stones with holes in them and strung them on a strong cord’
      • ‘These buttons, with no two alike, were then strung on a length of strong string.’
      • ‘We strung popcorn and cranberries, hung lights and candy canes.’
      • ‘Homemade decorations using herbs such as cinnamon sticks and whole star anise can be strung together with thin ribbon or raffia and hung from the branches for a different look.’
      • ‘Consisting of assorted gold beads that have been randomly strung together, this type of ornament was documented by European visitors in the fifteenth century.’
      • ‘Everything rests upon Krishna as pearls strung on a thread.’
      • ‘The anklet on each foot had replicas of 10 wild chamomile flowers strung together.’
      • ‘The beads were strung on one thread and tacked down.’
      • ‘Together, they chopped down the Christmas tree, set it up in the parlor, hung the ornaments, and strung popcorn to hang on the piney branches.’
      • ‘Dried apple slices can also be strung together to fill a room with fragrance.’
      • ‘Decorate a small conifer or other evergreen tree with garlands of unsalted popcorn and cranberries and grapes strung on heavy-duty thread.’
      • ‘My mother spent hours stringing cranberries and popcorn, creating elegant ropes to hang on the branches.’
      • ‘Boykin and Payne said Wilson then grabbed a white plastic bag and pulled out a bottle of sleeping pills and a G-string made from Pez candies strung together.’
      • ‘While they are stringing popcorn and cranberries to hang on the tree, Beth tells Calvin and Conrad that she had spoken to Carole Lazenby, who had informed her of something that Con should have told them.’
      • ‘They would originally have been strung together in necklaces.’
      • ‘On this, the Swarovski crystal and pearls are strung like a festoon of flowers, with hanging clusters terminating in big pieces of aqua quartz.’
      • ‘When they had finished, she strung the creations and hung them up on a window.’
      • ‘Be it chunky beads strung in silver thread or kundan silver jewellery dipped in gold and worked on in fine detail, the jet-set crowd drools over these creations.’
      • ‘Her installation was made of crystal beads strung on transparent threads.’
      • ‘These would have been strung together perhaps as necklaces or wrist pieces as early examples of a charm bracelet.’
      • ‘The necklace was all rubies, strung together to make it look like a line of blood around her neck.’
      thread, loop, link, join
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    2. 1.2be strung Be arranged in a long line.
      ‘the houses were strung along the road’
      • ‘Moreover, many are strung along vulnerable frontiers which divide them from fellow-nationals across the border.’
      • ‘It winds up through rolling hills with stands of poplar trees, distant views of lakes and snowy mountain peaks strung along the horizon.’
      • ‘They entered the water at Marbella Beach, one of a series of popular beaches strung along a built-up stretch of coast lined by hotels and restaurants.’
      • ‘Captive and captor emerged from the forest, and the former followed directions to the nearest cottage of twenty or thirty he could see strung along the riverbank.’
      • ‘By 1,000 BC the first permanent settlements were established, strung along the shore like a long string of muddy pearls that were placed at a days rowing distance apart.’
      • ‘Say they're the towns strung along State 41, south of Yosemite National Park, and suddenly you're no longer speaking Greek.’
      • ‘Fifteen rooms in seven simple stone cottages, most with decks overlooking tranquil Muskmelon Bay, are strung along a ridge.’
      • ‘There are bright spots, particularly the fishing villages strung along the coast from Crail to Elie.’
      • ‘The 200-km stretch of Burgundy vineyards strung along the western flank of the north - south Saône valley provides many examples of complex local relationships between soil type and wine quality.’
      • ‘Schools look more decrepit than houses, government offices, strung along the road, so run down you wonder if anybody ever visits them.’
      • ‘When you stand and look down at the seed bed you see butterfly shapes strung along a black pipe, for the water has gently washed the ground into four linked circles at each irrigation point.’
      • ‘Accommodation is in two areas: strung along the beach closest to the ruins; and along the road that runs south beside the water towards Punta Allen.’
      • ‘Instead of being strung along the building edges, the offices are grouped in pods with their backs to the cross-connections between the labs and the curtain wall.’
      • ‘The three or four dive centres are strung along a little lane following the water's edge.’
      • ‘A short walk away in Fordsburg is Business Fun Day, with stalls, a bungee trampoline, a magic show, a petting zoo and other events strung along Mint Road.’
      • ‘Currently, the officers must cover Nunavik's 14 communities, strung along 250,000 kilometres of coastline.’
      • ‘Instead the staff were in relatively unprotected temporary offices strung along the heavy compound walls near one corner at the main gate, the precise corner where the bomb was detonated up against those large walls.’
      • ‘Across the mountains, in Kosovo, there is 60% unemployment and small brothels are strung along the back streets of almost every town.’
      • ‘The white pebbledash house is one of a series of run-down semis, strung along one side of the typical south Leeds street, which are mainly owned by Asian families.’
      • ‘Across the water the grand York Road houses are set back, strung along a hillside skyline, spacing out as you go.’
      spread out, space out, set apart, place at intervals, distribute, extend, fan out, scatter, straggle
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    3. 1.3string something together Add items to one another to form a series or coherent whole.
      ‘he can't string two sentences together’
      • ‘Or maybe you'll want to supersize your exercise by stringing together several five-minute circuits for an even higher calorie burn and maximum definition.’
      • ‘What results is a series of subplots that just don't string together well to form a coherent story.’
      • ‘The vast majority of cinema invents a fiction; it creates an illusion of narrative reality by stringing together a series of sounds and images in familiar, lifelike ways.’
      • ‘My ability to string words into a necklace of meaning is hobbled by a shaky, tortured, and misshapen syntax…’
      • ‘The words that are recognizable are not strung together in a coherent way.’
      • ‘Without fashion, the musician is just a person stringing together a series of rhythmic sounds.’
      • ‘He seemed to be trying to suggest that it has no grammar at all - just words that can be strung together in any order you want.’
      • ‘The person who can string the most movie titles together wins my undying admiration.’
      • ‘One of the earliest stages of human evolution must have been the step from simply taking one action at a time, to stringing together a series of actions, each leading toward a pre-determined goal.’
      • ‘O'Neill has solidified so well, in fact, that he strung together 22 goals in his last 27 games.’
      • ‘Half a century of romance is actually just a vast collection of five-minute love affairs between the same people, strung closely together.’
      • ‘Moreover, rather than simply stringing together a series of events, Swisher bests Klein by explaining how and why the calamity unfolded.’
      • ‘‘Company was a bunch of one-act plays they strung together musically,’ says Holmes.’
      • ‘Lions string together eight successive phases on the last play of the half.’
      • ‘When you string together a series of championships, or piece together the ultimate team on a shoestring budget, it feels just that much better to play and win with them.’
      • ‘The key lies in the fact that the units of meaning, words, can be strung together in different ways, according to rules, to communicate different meanings.’
      • ‘I thank you all for reading, commenting, arguing and bearing with me while I figured out how to string words into sentences, and use commas, effectively.’
      • ‘But the goal of this film is not to tell a story, it's to develop a reputation by stringing together a series of macabre scenes.’
      • ‘On the last day, I was so exhausted that while practicing a new form I saw the form as one object in time instead of a series of techniques strung together.’
      • ‘Again, random words strung together to look like existentialist poetry.’
  • 2with object Fit a string or strings to (a musical instrument, a racket, or a bow)

    ‘the harp had been newly strung’
    • ‘The first bowstring is a very heavy and very long one so the bow can be strung just by slipping the long string on without flexing the bow.’
    • ‘There's no conductor; she directs them herself… and she's strung her Strad with gut, and plays it with a classical bow.’
    • ‘A minute later, she was crouched behind a boulder, her crossbow loaded and strung.’
    • ‘All were armed with wooden bows strung with silver strands and all shouldered a quiver full of golden arrows.’
    • ‘Soon the boy's bow was strung and his quiver full of arrows.’
    • ‘When the bow is strung, this end was tied using a bowyers knot (now called a ‘bowline’ knot).’
    • ‘He slung the quiver over his shoulder and easily strung the bow, checking the string's tautness.’
    • ‘Borg liked his rackets strung at 80 lb pressure, which was incredibly tight, almost impossible to achieve without breaking a string or twisting the wooden frame.’
    • ‘I could barely remember the smell of the freshly strung bow and feather tipped arrows; my heart ached for it.’
    • ‘And how does this Janaka make a svayamvara like this, that someone should string Shiva's bow?’
    • ‘She slipped the quiver to her shoulder, and carefully bent her bow to string it.’
    • ‘He stands in the open field just outside the East Hill Village, and newly strung bow in hand.’
    • ‘They strung their bows and notched their arrows, expecting and ready for trouble.’
    • ‘When Raymond Chandler found himself stringing tennis rackets for a living, he was probably working with bits of whale tendon.’
    • ‘Her back arched like a tightly strung bow, and her mouth opened in a silent scream.’
  • 3with object Remove the strings from (a bean).

    • ‘String the beans and break into lengths as for cooking.’
  • 4British Billiards

    another term for lag (sense 2 of the verb)
    • ‘I'm not stringing you, honest. He's a wonder.’


  • no strings attached

    • informal Used to show that an offer or opportunity carries no special conditions or restrictions.

      • ‘Arnaud, a wealthy retired businessman, offers to pay the debt, no strings attached.’
      • ‘A musician is today pleading for the return of his irreplaceable £35,000 viola and is offering a £500 reward… no strings attached.’
      • ‘Above all they want excellent service, competitive pricing and simple accounts with no strings attached.’
      • ‘In a bid to make it novel, the organisers came out with a free service offer on all printers, with no strings attached.’
      • ‘I am willing to offer you a position, no strings attached.’
      • ‘These accounts give instant access to your money, with no strings attached.’
      • ‘So, instead I'm offering it as simple gift, no strings attached.’
      • ‘It looks straightforward with no strings attached, although I'd still like to see the small print.’
      • ‘The policy proposes to give indigenous communities even more money and power with no strings attached.’
      • ‘The city had the view that after the five years the shire would come to the party again with no strings attached.’
      conditions, qualifications, provisions, provisos, caveats, stipulations, riders, contingencies, prerequisites, limitations, limits, constraints, restrictions, reservations, requirements, obligations
      View synonyms
  • on a string

    • Under one's control or influence.

      ‘I've got the world on a string’
      • ‘Leonardo DiCaprio looks amazingly like Hughes and uses his body language to signal Hughes' distress and unease even when he seemed to have the world on a string.’
      • ‘I want to be that girl from a few months ago who had the world on a string.’
      • ‘Looking almost as young and lean as he did a decade ago, DiCaprio is astonishingly convincing as a gangly teenager who has the world on a string.’
      • ‘Tom Scollay, who has had the ball on a string in recent times, fell, trapped in the gully by Adam Stockwell and bowled by Thomson.’
      • ‘They had Wilson on a string and brought Callaghan to book.’
      • ‘Yet it becomes obvious that she has his heart on a string.’
      • ‘He has got a better nerve than the rest and was just totally in control of his ball - he virtually had it on a string.’
      • ‘Anyone can see that Nicholas is a puppet on a string.’
      • ‘But if he prevented us from doing wrong then we'd be puppets on a string.’
      • ‘As long as he can maintain that success rate and part suckers from their money, he has the world on a string.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • string along

    • Stay with or accompany a person or group casually or as long as it is convenient.

      • ‘Of our professional footballers only the following maintain fitness as a matter of course: Eve, Elcock, Lawrence, Rougier, Andrews, Mauge and Carrington, while the rest merely seem to string along.’
      go along, go too, come too, join in
      View synonyms
  • string someone along

    • Mislead someone deliberately over a length of time, especially about one's intentions.

      ‘she had no plans to marry him—she was just stringing him along’
      • ‘We have been strung along for nearly seven years with promises of additional rail halts.’
      • ‘Despite the Council being strung along with promises ever since, nothing has materialised.’
      • ‘She strings along all the men, and she's playing them all, seducing them all left, right and centre, but actually her heart is still with Athos.’
      • ‘‘They have been stringing us along,’ said Dr Birket.’
      • ‘It is a decision that has angered the local community which feels the company was just stringing them along with false promises.’
      • ‘And secondly, they've strung us along too long without providing enough interesting plot points to hold anyone's interest.’
      • ‘Hitting back, however, a BAA spokeswoman argued: ‘BAA is not stringing along anyone.’’
      • ‘She wants to know why he strung her along and then dumped her.’
      • ‘I was very much in control, which was why I was able to end it rather than be strung along.’
      • ‘You were a false friend; you strung us along, and we never realised.’
      mislead, deceive, take in, take advantage of, dupe, hoax, fool, make a fool of, bluff
      View synonyms
  • string something out

    • 1Cause something to stretch out; prolong something.

      • ‘Now it's organized into many different parts, causing people to string it out over a longer period of time.’
      • ‘See, I'm absolutely in love with this story, and I know how it's going to end, but I want to string it out a little longer instead of having it end right now.’
      • ‘Others hope that holding the ballot will string the issue out indefinitely.’
      • ‘The guy who doesn't go to college may get to string it out a little longer, but by the time he hits age 24 or so he'll have greybeard status - which in a 12-19 year old world means nothing.’
      • ‘But the NMC only offers guidelines on how employers should carry out the training, so the adaptation period can be strung out for much longer.’
      • ‘The length of the excerpt, again, is a function of time, and the cost of my time to produce it, unless I want to string it out a page or two.’
      • ‘I am not trying to string it out by any means, your Honour.’
      • ‘The supreme court is considering the validity of the election result and they may string the process out for a week, but people say they are prepared to stay on the streets for as long as it takes.’
      • ‘Clearly the tenant is hoping to string this matter out as long as possible but the time has come to draw it to a head.’
      • ‘Equity can be cashed out only for so long as it exists; the process is a once-for-all affair even as the Fed tries to string it out indefinitely.’
      protract, spin out, draw out, drag out, lengthen, stretch, stretch out
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Stretch out into a long line.
        ‘the runners string out in a line across the road’
        • ‘The winding first-category climb up Col d' Agnes is really taking its toll as the peloton strings out.’
        • ‘As we reach the main road, thankfully the pace starts to subside, with athletes stringing out in front and behind me.’
        • ‘With teams stringing out 120 feet ahead of them, the rigs carried 45,000 pounds of ore, completing the circuit between Daggett and Borate in two days.’
        • ‘We're the last group to leave, driving around in a circle with our lights blazing for the benefit of the TV cameras before stringing out into a line heading north.’
        • ‘Throw in the snow-covered alpine peaks that string out along the border with Austria and you can see why this region might fill your heart with the sound of music.’
        • ‘Few will watch the entire race; as it progresses, the field will string out.’
        • ‘More of them fell back, stringing out in a long, ragged line as the darkness came down.’
        • ‘It makes them a tough team to beat, not because they string out along the penalty box but because while they attack they work back quickly when team-mates need support.’
        • ‘Out in the open I spied William, holding on to a rail, his regulator streaming air on the current, the bubbles stringing out horizontally behind him.’
        • ‘As McEvoy increased his ride's pace, the nine-strong field began to string out and Fallon in third place looked well-placed to mount a challenge.’
        spread out, space out, set apart, place at intervals, distribute, extend, fan out, scatter, straggle
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Be nervous or tense.
        ‘I often felt strung out by daily stresses’
        • ‘He's professional, he's smooth, he's never late, he's not strung out, his appearance is immaculate.’
        • ‘I'm feeling permanently exhausted and strung out.’
        • ‘Surely with all their calm, reflective, sober hours, they'd be way less strung out?’
        • ‘And judging by the way I was so strung out when I got here that anything could start tears, a bit more space would be ‘useful’.’
        • ‘Of this ‘boyfriend’ group, there is a sub-group that is doubly nervous and strung out!’
        • ‘Lizzie is the epitome of a Type-A personality - ambitious, motivated, uptight, and strung out.’
        • ‘She said Murdoch had been away for a week, and when he came to see her on his return, he looked strung out.’
        • ‘This week Monkey Boy and Andrew G Spot are almost entirely unremarkable in appearance, except that Monkey Boy seems to be having difficulties blinking and looks really strung out.’
        • ‘There have been many frustrating aspects of having to do this job in order to pay for my PhD, but this must be one of the worst - it leaves you strung out.’
        • ‘Factor in his appointment with the neurologist at the hospital this morning and it's no wonder that last night found me more than a little strung out and unable to sleep.’
        tense, nervous, on edge, edgy, overwrought, jumpy, keyed up, worked up, agitated, restive
        View synonyms
      3. 1.3North American Be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
        ‘he died, strung out on booze and cocaine’
        • ‘I was homeless, eating out of garbage cans, strung out and whatever, but I wouldn't change anything for the world.’
        • ‘You know what I mean - they're strung out, they have a mental illness, they have some kind of obvious disability, or whatever.’
        • ‘My brother got out of the army in Germany and came back strung out on opiates, and that's when it began for me.’
        • ‘How many kids have they left behind, dead and strung out, him and his brother?’
        • ‘Come Sunday night, I'm usually strung out, always broke and dreading five more days of forced labour.’
        • ‘Some girls were so strung out on drugs they didn't know what they were doing.’
        • ‘The only dignified explanation is that maybe he was completely strung out and just sat in the corner dribbling while somebody else made the film.’
        • ‘I am still rather hungover and strung out from last night.’
        • ‘A glorious blast of atonal thrum somehow makes being strung out seem seedily glamorous.’
        • ‘You do things for money when you're strung out that you regret, you know.’
  • string someone/something up

    • 1Hang something up on strings.

      • ‘As he spoke, the both of them saw Christmas lights that were strung up in trees on the side of the highway.’
      • ‘There was a painting of a mermaid on one wall, another was covered in ‘seaweed’ and paper lanterns were strung up along all of the walls, casting a warm shadow.’
      • ‘Another person backs them with felt and uses them as party drinks coasters and one retired gentleman strings them up in the garden to scare birds from his seeds and fruit.’
      • ‘A huge banner, which was painted in the Gampingan courtyard over three weeks, was strung up in Victoria Square, central Adelaide.’
      • ‘Christmas cards were strung up, and we all pulled Christmas crackers and listened to the more melodious parts of my Christmas tape from home.’
      • ‘I stood at the front door, waving and smiling, and directing people towards the counter, instead of around the side to where decorations were strung up.’
      • ‘They may be strung up to dry in the sun and wind, or sliced and laid out on rooftops to dry.’
      • ‘Buy a hammock and string it up in your apartment.’
      • ‘How about in each corner, the lights of that holiday can be strung up?’
      • ‘Washing is strung up between the arches of an aqueduct.’
      1. 1.1Kill someone by hanging.
        • ‘Omar and 12 of his students drove down to Spin Boldak and, depending on the version of the story, either ran the offending commander out of town or strung him up.’
        • ‘He was the man who liberated Berlin; he was beside the swinging body of Mussolini after the dictator was strung up; he was a Chindit with Wingate.’
        • ‘That wouldn't have happened if they had strung the bitch up in the first place.’
        • ‘He was jailed for six months five weeks ago after a court heard how he strung the dogs up by their leads until they choked to death.’
        • ‘The Tories were all shouting, ‘Hang him, string him up’.’
        • ‘They were going to string him up and drop him with a noose around his neck on January 6, 2000.’
        • ‘All the good folks of Stone Junction want to give the man over to the Indians to kill, or string him up themselves and deliver his corpse.’
        • ‘Named for the Bannock Indians, this was home of Sheriff Henry Plummer, who, with his gang of road agents, robbed and murdered miners for their gold before town vigilantes strung him up on January 10, 1864.’
        • ‘They might have strung him up on ‘corrupting the public morals charges,’ or something.’
        • ‘No chance of that when he has already been condemned by the media and the Tory party as effectively guilty of murdering Dr Kelly, and when there is nothing but foot-stamping impatience at the tiresome delay before stringing him up.’
        hang, lynch, gibbet
        View synonyms


Old English streng (noun), of Germanic origin; related to German Strang, also to strong. The verb (dating from late Middle English) is first recorded in the senses ‘arrange in a row’ and ‘fit with a string’.