clar·​i·​net ˌkler-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce clarinet (audio)
: 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
clarinetist noun
or clarinettist

Illustration of clarinet

Illustration of clarinet

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The interlude of horns and clarinet was especially beautiful. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 13 May 2023 In truth the night was an exceptional outing for the entire core of the orchestra’s woodwinds, including Lisa Hennessy (flute), Rane Moore (clarinet), Mary Kay Robinson (piccolo), and Rachel Jusczcak (bassoon). Jeremy Eichler,, 17 Apr. 2023 The clip features the clarinet sextet Murmuri and Kasimyn, a DJ and member of the Indonesian dance duo Gabber Modus Operandi. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 30 Mar. 2023 Hawn grew up in suburban Washington, D.C., the younger of two daughters of a musician father who played the violin, saxophone and clarinet and a dancer mother. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 8 Mar. 2023 In addition to photography, Diltz is also a musician who plays banjo, clarinet and harmonica. Pamela Chelin, SPIN, 3 Feb. 2023 Most recently, Ralph earned Missouri All-State Band honorable mention for playing the bass clarinet, according to a North Kansas City Schools’ newsletter in February. Tina Burnside, CNN, 17 Apr. 2023 The mainly quick first movement, though, opens with an intimate reflection for piano, over which a clarinet — beautifully played by Stephen Ahearn — soars rhapsodically aloft. Dallas News, 24 Feb. 2023 Yarl’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, said on Instagram during the weekend that her nephew has debilitating headaches but is starting to have more good days than bad days and is hoping to start playing the bass clarinet again soon. Margaret Stafford, ajc, 3 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clarinet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1733, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of clarinet was in 1733

Dictionary Entries Near clarinet

Cite this Entry

“Clarinet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


clar·​i·​net ˌklar-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce clarinet (audio)
: a woodwind musical instrument in the shape of a cylindrical tube having a single-reed mouthpiece
clarinetist noun
or clarinettist

More from Merriam-Webster on clarinet

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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