To have two strings to one's bow

To have two strings to one's bow
String String (str[i^]ng), n. [OE. string, streng, AS. streng; akin to D. streng, G. strang, Icel. strengr, Sw. str["a]ng, Dan. str[ae]ng; probably from the adj., E. strong (see {Strong}); or perhaps originally meaning, twisted, and akin to E. strangle.] 1. A small cord, a line, a twine, or a slender strip of leather, or other substance, used for binding together, fastening, or tying things; a cord, larger than a thread and smaller than a rope; as, a shoe string; a bonnet string; a silken string. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Round Ormond's knee thou tiest the mystic string. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

2. A thread or cord on which a number of objects or parts are strung or arranged in close and orderly succession; hence, a line or series of things arranged on a thread, or as if so arranged; a succession; a concatenation; a chain; as, a string of shells or beads; a string of dried apples; a string of houses; a string of arguments. ``A string of islands.'' --Gibbon. [1913 Webster]

3. A strip, as of leather, by which the covers of a book are held together. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

4. The cord of a musical instrument, as of a piano, harp, or violin; specifically (pl.), the stringed instruments of an orchestra, in distinction from the wind instruments; as, the strings took up the theme. ``An instrument of ten strings.'' --Ps. xxx. iii. 2. [1913 Webster]

Me softer airs befit, and softer strings Of lute, or viol still. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. The line or cord of a bow. --Ps. xi. 2. [1913 Webster]

He twangs the grieving string. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

6. A fiber, as of a plant; a little, fibrous root. [1913 Webster]

Duckweed putteth forth a little string into the water, from the bottom. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

7. A nerve or tendon of an animal body. [1913 Webster]

The string of his tongue was loosed. --Mark vii. 35. [1913 Webster]

8. (Shipbuilding) An inside range of ceiling planks, corresponding to the sheer strake on the outside and bolted to it. [1913 Webster]

9. (Bot.) The tough fibrous substance that unites the valves of the pericap of leguminous plants, and which is readily pulled off; as, the strings of beans. [1913 Webster]

10. (Mining) A small, filamentous ramification of a metallic vein. --Ure. [1913 Webster]

11. (Arch.) Same as {Stringcourse}. [1913 Webster]

12. (Billiards) The points made in a game. [1913 Webster]

13. (a) In various indoor games, a score or tally, sometimes, as in American billiard games, marked by buttons threaded on a string or wire. (b) In various games, competitions, etc., a certain number of turns at play, of rounds, etc. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

14. (Billiards & Pool) (a) The line from behind and over which the cue ball must be played after being out of play as by being pocketed or knocked off the table; -- called also {string line}. (b) Act of stringing for break. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

15. A hoax; a trumped-up or ``fake'' story. [Slang] [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

16. a sequence of similar objects or events sufficiently close in time or space to be perceived as a group; a string of accidents; a string of restaurants on a highway. [PJC]

17. (Physics) A one-dimensional string-like mathematical object used as a means of representing the properties of fundamental particles in {string theory}, one theory of particle physics; such hypothetical objects are one-dimensional and very small (10^{-33} cm) but exist in more than four spatial dimensions, and have various modes of vibration. Considering particles as strings avoids some of the problems of treating particles as points, and allows a unified treatment of gravity along with the other three forces (electromagnetism, the weak force, and the strong force) in a manner consistent with quantum mechanics. See also {string theory}. [PJC]

{String band} (Mus.), a band of musicians using only, or chiefly, stringed instruments.

{String beans}. (a) A dish prepared from the unripe pods of several kinds of beans; -- so called because the strings are stripped off. (b) Any kind of beans in which the pods are used for cooking before the seeds are ripe; usually, the low bush bean.

{To have two strings to one's bow}, to have a means or expedient in reserve in case the one employed fails. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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