[L. lynx.] An animal resembling the common cat, but with longer ears and a shorter tail. It preys on small quadrupeds and birds, and in pursuit of prey frequently climbs to the tops of tall trees. Lynxes are widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The Canada lynx is hunted for its fur, which is prized for robes, muffs, and collars. Lyre. The oldest known of all stringed instruments, invented, according to old tradition, by the god Mercury. It was the predecessor of the harp, and possessed at first but three strings, which were gradually increased to eleven. It was played upon by a stick of ivory or polished wood. It was used to accompany the voice and was probably of Egyptian origin.