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a. A small, compact upright piano.
b. A small, compact upright electronic organ.
2. A small harpsichord with a single keyboard.

[Obsolete French espinette, from Italian spinetta, perhaps diminutive of spīna, thorn (presumably so called because the strings of the original instrument were plucked with quills); see spinel.]


(spɪˈnɛt; ˈspɪnɪt)
(Instruments) a small type of harpsichord having one manual
[C17: from Italian spinetta, perhaps from Giovanni Spinetti, 16th-century Italian maker of musical instruments and its supposed inventor]


(ˈspɪn ɪt)

1. a small upright piano.
2. any of various small harpsichords.
3. a small electric organ.
[1655–65; aph. variant of obsolete espinette < French < Italian spinetta, probably derivative of spin(a) thorn (see spine)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spinet - a small and compactly built upright pianospinet - a small and compactly built upright piano
upright piano, upright - a piano with a vertical sounding board
2.spinet - early model harpsichord with only one string per note
cembalo, harpsichord - a clavier with strings that are plucked by plectra mounted on pivots


[spɪˈnet] Nespineta f


Spinett nt
(US) → Kleinklavier nt
References in classic literature ?
Cole, I really was ashamed to look at our new grand pianoforte in the drawingroom, while I do not know one note from another, and our little girls, who are but just beginning, perhaps may never make any thing of it; and there is poor Jane Fairfax, who is mistress of music, has not any thing of the nature of an instrument, not even the pitifullest old spinet in the world, to amuse herself with.
But this appeared extremely difficult: for the spinet was near sixty feet long, each key being almost a foot wide, so that with my arms extended I could not reach to above five keys, and to press them down required a good smart stroke with my fist, which would be too great a labour, and to no purpose.
I could not so readily come at playing on the harpsichord or spinet, because I had no instrument of my own to practice on, and could only come at theirs in the intervals when they left it, which was uncertain; but yet I learned tolerably well too, and the young ladies at length got two instruments, that is to say, a harpsichord and a spinet too, and then they taught me themselves.
polyandria polygynia); whence you hear the sound of jingling spinets and women singing; where little porter pots hang on the railings sunning themselves; whither of evenings you see City clerks padding wearily: here it was that Mr.
Claims pros should know that "upright" or vertical pianos are classified by the height of the sound board and further segregated by upright, studio, console and spinet (from tall to short.
There was a spinet in the house; I was pretty obsessive about certain records, we had a kind of'100 Great Hits of Classical Music' album, and I have a vivid memory of sitting by the stereo and playing it over and over again, so I was attracted to music pretty intensely, and I think it was also my teachers who said that I needed some extracurricular stimulation, otherwise I was going to drive them insane.
Fiona Grant, who lives in Morpeth, had put a spinet - a forerunner of the upright piano - up for sale with Newcastle auctioneers Anderson & Garland.
West, do you think we could roll the little spinet piano into my sitting room just for tonight?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Tucking into lunch are (from left) Yvonne Pollard, Rhionna Loonam, Shaun McManus and Tom Hughes (tmc181113history_lunch) | ALTOGETHER NOW: Singing 17th century style with music teacher Mrs June Szygula at the spinet (tmc181113histor y2) | THINKING ABOUT IT: Getting to grips with a quill is five-year-old Leo Law (tmc181113histor y1) | DOLLY DELIGHTS: Jennifer Brooks shows knitted dolls and other items as skilful knitting helped to raise church funds.
We'd drape the "main stage curtain" over the clothesline and get ready to accompany our exuberant show tunes on the baby grand or the spinet or on one of the uprights.
By contrast, in its Musical Instruments sale in May, Bonhams offered a beautifully made, elaborately decorated bentside spinet (c.