clar·​i·​net | \ ˌkler-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce clarinet (audio) , ˌkla-rə-; ˈkler-ə-nət, ˈkla-rə- \

Definition of clarinet

: a single-reed woodwind instrument having a cylindrical tube with a moderately flared bell and a usual range from D below middle C upward for 3¹/₂ octaves

Illustration of clarinet

Illustration of clarinet

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Other Words from clarinet

clarinetist or clarinettist \ ˌkler-​ə-​ˈne-​tist How to pronounce clarinettist (audio) , ˌkla-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of clarinet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both woodwind players — whose instruments include the clarinet, saxophone and flute — Rogers and Hicks have accompanied Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Jerry Lee Lewis and other famous names as contract musicians. Sarah Bonnette | Contributing Writer,, "News of President's Art Awards music to recipients' ears," 16 Nov. 2020 The clarinet and horn then sing a melancholic duet. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Dallas Symphony musicians spotlight Black and female composers," 11 Nov. 2020 In the second minute, entertaining handoffs between the electric guitar and bass clarinet prepare the listener for subsequent pairings (as with the vibraphone and piano, heard together in the third minute). New York Times, "7 Things to Do This Weekend," 5 Nov. 2020 Now in her third year with Showtime, Lennon was looking forward to playing her clarinet one last time at Homecoming. Washington Post, "Howard’s homecoming is a family reunion. In a year of loss and protest, coming together feels more urgent.," 16 Oct. 2020 The thrilling scene was accented by musical arranger Edward Windels' ingenious choice to match their voices with an accordion, bass clarinet, and electric bass guitar. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Opera Theatre drives into the pandemic era with a fresh take on a classic," 30 Oct. 2020 Anxious to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, school board and health officials had banned wind instruments such as flute, clarinet, trombone, and trumpet from school property. Anita Elash, The Christian Science Monitor, "Music class during coronavirus: How the band plays on," 27 Oct. 2020 The Hagen-Alberich scene, a festival of abyssal timbres, featured a superbly clammy trio of electric bass, bass clarinet, and accordion. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” in a Detroit Parking Garage," 26 Oct. 2020 Besides Viola, the only remaining sister by 1938 was Mildred, who played sax, clarinet and violin. Washington Post, "Viola Smith, swing era’s ‘fastest girl drummer in the world,’ dies at 107," 23 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clarinet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clarinet

1733, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clarinet

French clarinette, probably ultimately from Medieval Latin clarion-, clario

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Time Traveler for clarinet

Time Traveler

The first known use of clarinet was in 1733

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clarinet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for clarinet


How to pronounce clarinet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clarinet

: a musical instrument that is shaped like a tube and that is played by blowing into the top of the tube through a special mouthpiece


clar·​i·​net | \ ˌkler-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce clarinet (audio) \

Kids Definition of clarinet

: a woodwind instrument with a single reed, a straight body formed like a tube, and keys

More from Merriam-Webster on clarinet

Nglish: Translation of clarinet for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about clarinet

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