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

When the clarinet slithers up a disjointed scale at the outset of the piece, the curtain effectively goes up on twentieth-century music. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Endless, Grisly Fascination of Richard Strauss’s “Salome”," 21 Aug. 2019 Sandwick, who joined the clarinet section after holding a position in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, follows an eight-week schedule leading up to each audition. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "10 musicians earn a new home at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Now, they work to keep it," 14 Aug. 2019 The actors will stand on stage playing the trumpet, flute, clarinet and percussion along with musical director Eddie Carney on piano., "Mercury’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ allows audiences to choose actors for parts; on stage in South Euclid Aug. 2-18," 26 July 2019 Lee played clarinet and sax and was teaching himself the banjo., "LeRoy Dyer," 23 July 2019 Rosewood instruments More than 350 species of rosewood, often used to make guitars, flutes and clarinets, are protected. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Sea turtles, hummingbird charms, and other souvenirs not to buy on vacation," 2 Aug. 2019 Rebekah Flower, a sophomore at HHS, plays clarinet in the school’s marching band. David Anderson,, "Havre de Grace swings to blues and jazz with inaugural weekend festival," 12 June 2019 On Tuesday, the Daniel Bennett Group, featuring Bennett, who plays the saxophone, flute and clarinet, as well as Nat Janoff on guitar and Koko Bermejo on drums, performed at the Buena Vista Branch Library. Mark Kellam,, "Every Burbank library is part of the Sounds of Summer concert series," 9 July 2019 More than half of his 150-odd works—including his longest work for orchestra, concertos (or concertinos) for clarinet, flute, horn, violin, cello, and piano, as well as his only opera—were completed after his eighty-fifth birthday. Tim Page, The New York Review of Books, "Late Bloomer," 18 Apr. 2019

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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Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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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 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

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Spanish Central: Translation of clarinet

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

Comments on clarinet

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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