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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 ?
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.
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.
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.
Cheryl is sick, has sent her son to play the crippled keyboard of the unwaxed Spinet, piano we all thought was finished, silent, dumb, ivories gray and topped with sculptures jabbed with pipe cleaners and clay.
Soldiers gathered around the family's spinet piano and sang "The White Cliffs of Dover," "I'll Be Seeing You in Apple Blossom Time," and other tunes.
37) In a post-apocalyptic paradisiacal space, she keeps her antique spinet, from Napoleonic times, which she can no longer play.
He added spinet piano to suggest the 1950s period simply because so many homes in Middle America had one.
In the 1930s, the company began selling smaller spinet and console models to accommodate apartment living and modern houses.
In one piece she requests that the reader "please google [Gustav] Dore and see what you think"; another, "They Had Had It in Mind," is built upon the sound/sightplay of stringing together the words whippet, ballet, wallet, pellet, basset, palette, tacit, spinet, bonnet, thicket, and Ashuelot (as in New Hampshire).
For example, the Self-Portrait at the Spinet (1577), at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome, along with a replica (1577) at the Uffizi, is oil on canvas, signed and inscribed: "Lavinia Virgo Prosperi Fonatane/Filia Ex Speculo Imaginem/Oris Suis Expresit Anno/MDLXXVII.
Based upon period sources entirely, the program will include spoken commentary and involve use of appropriate instruments including violin, Spanish guitar, English and German flutes, spinet, hammered dulcimer, and voices.