follow Dictionary.com

7 Essential Words of Fall

string

[string] /strɪŋ/
noun
1.
a slender cord or thick thread used for binding or tying; line.
2.
something resembling a cord or thread.
3.
Also called cosmic string. Physics. a mathematical entity used to represent elementary particles, as gravitons, quarks, or leptons, in terms of a small but finite stringlike object existing in the four dimensions of spacetime and in additional, hypothetical, spacelike dimensions. The theory of such objects (string theory) avoids the many mathematical difficulties that arise from treating particles as points.
4.
a narrow strip of flexible material, as cloth or leather, for tying parts together:
the strings of a bonnet.
5.
a necklace consisting of a number of beads, pearls, or the like threaded or strung on a cord; strand:
She wore a double string of pearls.
6.
any series of things arranged or connected in a line or following closely one after another:
a string of islands; a string of questions.
7.
a series of railroad cars coupled together but not constituting an entire train.
8.
Journalism. a compilation of clippings of a stringer's published writings, submitted in request of payment according to an agreed space rate.
9.
a group of animals, especially saddle horses, owned or used by one person:
a string of polo ponies.
10.
(in a musical instrument) a tightly stretched cord or wire that produces a tone when caused to vibrate, as by plucking, striking, or friction of a bow.
11.
strings.
  1. stringed instruments, especially those played with a bow.
  2. players on such instruments in an orchestra or band.
12.
a bowstring.
13.
a cord or fiber in a plant.
14.
the tough piece uniting the two parts of a pod:
the strings of beans.
15.
Architecture.
  1. a stringcourse.
  2. Also called stringer. one of the sloping sides of a stair, supporting the treads and risers.
16.
Computers, Linguistics. a linear sequence of symbols, words, characters, or bits that is treated as a unit.
17.
Billiards, Pool.
  1. a stroke made by each player from the head of the table to the opposite cushion and back, to determine, by means of the resultant positions of the cue balls, who shall open the game.
  2. Also called string line. a line from behind which the cue ball is placed after being out of play.
18.
a complement of contestants or players grouped as a squad in accordance with their skill:
He made the second string on the football team.
19.
Usually, strings. conditions or limitations on a proposal:
a generous offer with no strings attached.
20.
Obsolete. a ligament, nerve, or the like in an animal body.
verb (used with object), strung; strung or (Rare) stringed; stringing.
21.
to furnish with or as with a string or strings:
to string a bonnet; to string a bow.
22.
to extend or stretch (a cord, thread, etc.) from one point to another.
23.
to thread on or as on a string:
to string beads.
24.
to connect in or as in a line; arrange in a series or succession:
She knows how to string words together.
25.
Music.
  1. to adjust the string of (a bow) or tighten the strings of (a musical instrument) to the required pitch.
  2. to equip (a bow or instrument) with new strings.
26.
to provide or adorn with something suspended or slung:
a room strung with festoons.
27.
to deprive of a string or strings; strip the strings from:
to string beans.
28.
to make tense, as the sinews, nerves, mind, etc.
29.
to kill by hanging (usually followed by up).
30.
Slang. to fool or hoax.
verb (used without object), strung; strung or (Rare) stringed; stringing.
31.
to form into or move in a string or series:
The ideas string together coherently.
32.
to form into a string or strings, as a glutinous substance does when pulled:
Good taffy doesn't break—it strings.
Verb phrases
33.
string along, Informal.
  1. to be in agreement; follow with confidence:
    He found he couldn't string along with all their modern notions.
  2. to keep (a person) waiting or in a state of uncertainty.
  3. to deceive; cheat; trick.
34.
string out,
  1. to extend; stretch out:
    The parade strung out for miles.
  2. to prolong:
    The promised three days strung out to six weeks.
Idioms
35.
on a / the string, Informal. subject to the whim of another; in one's power; dependent:
After keeping me on a string for two months, they finally hired someone else.
36.
pull strings / wires,
  1. to use one's influence or authority, usually in secret, in order to bring about a desired result.
  2. to gain or attempt to gain one's objectives by means of influential friends, associates, etc.:
    He had his uncle pull strings to get him a promotion.
Origin
900
before 900; (noun) Middle English string, streng, Old English streng; cognate with Dutch streng, German Strang; akin to Latin stringere to bind; (v.) late Middle English stringen to string a bow, derivative of the noun
Related forms
stringless, adjective
stringlike, adjective
restring, verb, restrung, restringing.

wire

[wahyuh r] /waɪər/
noun
1.
a slender, stringlike piece or filament of relatively rigid or flexible metal, usually circular in section, manufactured in a great variety of diameters and metals depending on its application.
2.
such pieces as a material.
3.
a length of such material, consisting either of a single filament or of several filaments woven or twisted together and usually insulated with a dielectric material, used as a conductor of electricity.
4.
a cross wire or a cross hair.
5.
a barbed-wire fence.
6.
a long wire or cable used in cable, telegraph, or telephone systems.
7.
Nautical. a wire rope.
8.
Informal.
  1. a telegram.
  2. the telegraphic system:
    to send a message by wire.
9.
wires, a system of wires by which puppets are moved.
10.
a metallic string of a musical instrument.
11.
Underworld Slang. the member of a pickpocket team who picks the victim's pocket.
Compare stall2 (def 5).
12.
Horse Racing. a wire stretched across and above the track at the finish line, under which the horses pass.
13.
Ornithology. one of the extremely long, slender, wirelike filaments or shafts of the plumage of various birds.
14.
a metal device for snaring rabbits and other small game.
15.
Papermaking. the woven wire mesh over which the wet pulp is spread in a papermaking machine.
16.
the wire, the telephone:
There's someone on the wire for you.
adjective
17.
made of wire; consisting of or constructed with wires.
18.
resembling wire; wirelike.
verb (used with object), wired, wiring.
19.
to furnish with wires.
20.
to install an electric system of wiring in, as for lighting.
21.
to fasten or bind with wire:
He wired the halves together.
22.
to put on a wire, as beads.
23.
to send by telegraph, as a message:
Please wire the money at once.
24.
to send a telegraphic message to:
She wired him to come at once.
25.
to snare by means of a wire.
26.
to equip with a hidden electronic device, as an eavesdropping device or an explosive.
27.
to connect (a receiver, area, or building) to a television cable and other equipment so that cable television programs may be received.
28.
Informal. to be closely connected or involved with:
a law firm wired into political circles.
29.
Informal. to prepare, equip, fix, or arrange to suit needs or goals:
The sales force was wired for an all-out effort.
30.
Croquet. to block (a ball) by placing it behind the wire of an arch.
verb (used without object), wired, wiring.
31.
to send a telegraphic message; telegraph:
Don't write; wire.
Idioms
32.
down to the wire, to the very last moment or the very end, as in a race or competition:
The candidates campaigned down to the wire.
33.
pull wires, Informal. to use one's position or influence to obtain a desired result:
to pull wires to get someone a job.
34.
under the wire, just within the limit or deadline; scarcely; barely:
to get an application in under the wire.
Origin
before 900; Middle English wir(e) (noun), Old English wīr; cognate with Low German wīr, Old Norse vīra- wire, Old High German wiara fine goldwork
Related forms
wirable, adjective
wirelike, adjective
dewire, verb (used with object), dewired, dewiring.
miswire, verb, miswired, miswiring.
prewire, verb (used with object), prewired, prewiring.
unwirable, adjective
Can be confused
why're, wire.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for pull wires

string

/strɪŋ/
noun
1.
a thin length of cord, twine, fibre, or similar material used for tying, hanging, binding, etc
2.
a group of objects threaded on a single strand: a string of beads
3.
a series or succession of things, events, acts, utterances, etc: a string of oaths
4.
a number, chain, or group of similar things, animals, etc, owned by or associated with one person or body: a string of girlfriends
5.
a tough fibre or cord in a plant: the string of an orange, the string of a bean
6.
(music) a tightly stretched wire, cord, etc, found on stringed instruments, such as the violin, guitar, and piano
7.
short for bowstring
8.
(architect) short for string course, stringer (sense 1)
9.
(maths, linguistics) a sequence of symbols or words
10.
(linguistics) a linear sequence, such as a sentence as it is spoken
11.
(physics) a one-dimensional entity postulated to be a fundamental component of matter in some theories of particle physics See also cosmic string
12.
(billiards) another word for lag1 (sense 6)
13.
a group of characters that can be treated as a unit by a computer program
14.
(pl) complications or conditions (esp in the phrase no strings attached)
15.
(modifier) composed of stringlike strands woven in a large mesh: a string bag, string vest
16.
keep on a string, to have control or a hold over (a person), esp emotionally
17.
(informal) pull strings, to exert personal influence, esp secretly or unofficially
18.
pull the strings, to have real or ultimate control of something
19.
second string, a person or thing regarded as a secondary source of strength
20.
(pl) the strings
  1. violins, violas, cellos, and double basses collectively
  2. the section of a symphony orchestra constituted by such instruments
verb strings, stringing, strung (strʌŋ)
21.
(transitive) to provide with a string or strings
22.
(transitive) to suspend or stretch from one point to another
23.
(transitive) to thread on a string
24.
(transitive) to form or extend in a line or series
25.
(foll by out) to space or spread out at intervals
26.
(informal) (transitive) usually foll by up. to kill (a person) by hanging
27.
(transitive) to remove the stringy parts from (vegetables, esp beans)
28.
(intransitive) (esp of viscous liquids) to become stringy or ropey
29.
(transitive) often foll by up. to cause to be tense or nervous
30.
(billiards) another word for lag1 (sense 3)
Derived Forms
stringlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English streng; related to Old High German strang, Old Norse strengr; see strong

wire

/waɪə/
noun
1.
a slender flexible strand or rod of metal
2.
a cable consisting of several metal strands twisted together
3.
a flexible metallic conductor, esp one made of copper, usually insulated, and used to carry electric current in a circuit
4.
(modifier) of, relating to, or made of wire: a wire fence, a wire stripper
5.
anything made of wire, such as wire netting, a barbed wire fence, etc
6.
a long continuous wire or cable connecting points in a telephone or telegraph system
7.
(old-fashioned)
  1. an informal name for telegram, telegraph
  2. the wire, an informal name for telephone
8.
a metallic string on a guitar, piano, etc
9.
(horse racing, mainly US & Canadian) the finishing line on a racecourse
10.
a wire-gauze screen upon which pulp is spread to form paper during the manufacturing process
11.
anything resembling a wire, such as a hair
12.
a snare made of wire for rabbits and similar animals
13.
(informal) to the wire, down to the wire, right up to the last moment
14.
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) get in under the wire, to accomplish something with little time to spare
15.
(informal) get one's wires crossed, to misunderstand
16.
(mainly US & Canadian) pull wires, to exert influence behind the scenes, esp through personal connections; pull strings
17.
take it to the wire, to compete to the bitter end to win a competition or title
verb (mainly transitive)
18.
(also intransitive) to send a telegram to (a person or place)
19.
to send (news, a message, etc) by telegraph
20.
to equip (an electrical system, circuit, or component) with wires
21.
to fasten or furnish with wire
22.
(often foll by up) to provide (an area) with fibre optic cabling to receive cable television
23.
to string (beads, etc) on wire
24.
(croquet) to leave (a player's ball) so that a hoop or peg lies between it and the other balls
25.
to snare with wire
26.
(informal) wire in, to set about (something, esp food) with enthusiasm
Derived Forms
wirelike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wīr; related to Old High German wiara, Old Norse vīra, Latin viriae bracelet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pull wires

wire

n.

Old English wir "metal drawn out into a thread," from Proto-Germanic *wiraz (cf. Old Norse viravirka "filigree work," Swedish vira "to twist," Old High German wiara "fine gold work"), from PIE *wei- "to turn, twist, plait" (cf. Old Irish fiar, Welsh gwyr "bent, crooked;" Latin viere "to bend, twist," viriæ "bracelets," of Celtic origin). Wiretapping is recorded from 1904, from earlier wiretapper (1893). Wirepuller in the political sense is 1848, American English.

v.

"to furnish with wires," mid-15c., from wire (n.). Related: Wired; wiring.

string

n.

Old English streng "line, cord, thread," from Proto-Germanic *strangiz (cf. Old Norse strengr, Danish streng, Middle Dutch strenge, Dutch streng, Old High German strang, German Strang "rope, cord"), from *strang- "taut, stiff," from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see strain). Gradually restricted by early Middle English to lines that are smaller than a rope. Sense of "a number of objects arranged in a line" first recorded late 15c.

Old English meaning "ligaments, tendons" is preserved in hamstring, heartstrings. Meaning "limitations, stipulations" (1888) is American English, probably from the common April Fool's joke of leaving a purse that looks full of money on the sidewalk, then tugging it away with an attached string when someone stoops to pick it up. To pull strings "control the course of affairs" (1860) is from the notion of puppet theater. First string, second string, etc. in athletics (1863) is from archers' custom of carrying spare bowstrings in the event that one breaks. Strings "stringed instruments" is attested from mid-14c. String bean is from 1759; string bikini is from 1974.

v.

c.1400, "to fit a bow with a string," from string (n.). Meaning "to thread (beads, etc.) on a string" is from 1610s. To string (someone) along is slang from 1902; string (v.) in this sense is attested in British dialect from c.1812.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for pull wires

pull strings

verb phrase
  1. To exert influence; use one's power, esp clandestinely: If she pulls a few wires I think I might get the job
  2. To exert private or secret influence: pull wires to get visitation (1862+)

[entry form 1860s+, variant 1893+; probably fr the use of strings or wires to control marionettes; work wire is found by 1886]


pull wires

Related Terms

pull strings


string

verb

To deceive; fool; hoax: Who are you trying to string, anyhow?

Related Terms

pull someone's chain, pull the string

[1812+; fr the notion of getting somone on a string, under one's control]


wire

noun
  1. : Send me a wire if you get the job
  2. : They checked to see whether she was wearing a wire
  3. An overstimulated person; an anxious, excitable person: You know I'm a natural wire. What I need is a drink to calm me down
verb
  1. To send a telegram: Wire me when you get there (1859+)
  2. To place eavesdropping devices in a room, office, etc, or concealed on someone's body; bug: She quietly checked to see if her bedroom was wired/ The FBI wired me before they sent me to see the suspect (1950s+)
Related Terms

come up to the wire, down to the wire, go to the wire, haywire, hot-wire


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with pull wires

pull wires

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for pull wires

wire

thread or slender rod, usually very flexible and circular in cross section, made from various metals and alloys, including iron, steel, brass, bronze, copper, aluminum, zinc, gold, silver, and platinum. The processes used are all fundamentally the same

Learn more about wire with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for string

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pull

6
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pull wires