noun cha·lu·meau \¦shalə¦mō\

Definition of chalumeau



  1. 1a :  a medieval wind instrument consisting of an upright tube surmounted by a small tube in which was fixed a double reed :  shawm b :  an obsolete single-reed wind instrument of varying size that after progressive modifications became the clarinet

  2. 2 :  chanter 3

  3. 3 :  the lowest register of the clarinet —often used as a direction to play a passage an octave lower

  4. 4 :  a reed organ pipe usually of 8-foot pitch and of clarinetlike tone —called also schalmei

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of chalumeau

French, from Late Latin calamellus little reed — more at calumet

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up chalumeau? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to criticize severely

Get Word of the Day daily email!