clar·​i·​net | \ˌkler-ə-ˈnet, 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 , ˌkla-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of clarinet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In this film, RJ stars as Dan, Sierra’s witty, clarinet-playing best friend. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Entire Cast of "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser" and the Characters They Play: Shannon Purser, Noah Centineo, RJ Cyler, and More," 6 Sep. 2018 This was a good program for the MSO clarinet section. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A great day for clarinetists at Milwaukee Symphony concert," 9 Mar. 2018 The first half of the program will feature Chamber Ensembles, including the brass choir, flute choir, clarinet choir, bassoon quartet, string trio and even a Mariachi ensemble. Jen Banowetz, Naperville Sun, "Naperville Youth orchestra performs movie favorites," 8 Mar. 2018 The up-tempo sections, as sung by trumpeter Gregory Stafford, who is no less a stalwart of New Orleans tradition, with clarinet obbligati from Dr. White adorning each phrase, nevertheless carry an air of joyous ritual. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Tricentennial Rag’ Review: A Paean to Traditional Jazz," 3 July 2018 Frequency 49 Ensemble Karena Walter, flute; Adrienne Malley, oboe; Jeanne Psomas, clarinet; Patrick-Johnson Whitty, bassoon; Leslie Hart, french horn; Margaret Halbig, piano. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 14 Feb. 2018 Former clarinet factory converted to senior apartments ELKHART — A former Elkhart musical instrument factory that was vacant for decades will soon reopen as a low-income seniors' home. Post-Tribune, "State briefs," 21 May 2018 Today the band includes Beau Bradbury on bass and percussion, Johnny Bones on saxophone and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards and Leon Cotter on saxophone. Chrissie Dickinson,, "The California Honeydrops went from subway busking, Hurricane Katrina to a headline slot," 10 May 2018 The tracks build from piano and earnest percussion toward sometimes lavish instrumentation; the saxophonist Kamasi Washington did arrangements for French horn, tuba, flute and bass clarinet. Melena Ryzik, New York Times, "‘I Never Thought I Would Talk About It.’ So Florence Welch Put It in a Song.," 14 June 2018

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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Statistics for clarinet

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for clarinet

The first known use of clarinet was in 1733

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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 \

Kids Definition of clarinet

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of clarinet

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

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