Dictionary > Lute


a stringed instrument formerly much in use. It consists of four parts, namely, the table or front, the body, having nine or ten ribs or sides, arranged like the divisions of a melon, the neck, which has nine or ten frets or divisions, and the head, or cross, in which the screws for tuning are inserted. The strings are struck with the right hand, and with the left the stops are pressed.
Origin: OF. Leut, f. Luth; skin to pr. Laot, It. Lioto, leoto, sp. Laod, pg. Alaude; all fr. Ar. Al’d; al the – ‘d wood, timber, trunk or branch of a tree, staff, stick, wood of aloes, lute or harp.
1. (Science: chemistry) a cement of clay or other tenacious infusible substance for sealing joints in apparatus, or the mouths of vessels or tubes, or for coating the bodies of retorts, etc, when exposed to heat; called also luting.
2. A packing ring, as of rubber, for fruit jars, etc.
3. A straight-edged piece of wood for striking off superfluous clay from mold.
Origin: L. Lutum mud, clay: cf. OF. Lut.

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