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 The pessimism of Squidward (Gavin Lee) manifests in a spectacular tap-dance number that uses his numerous tentacles and comes complete with a clarinet solo. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ musical heads to TV as part of show’s 20th anniversary celebration," 3 Dec. 2019 The title is an homage to Bartok’s trio for clarinet, violin and piano. David Lyman,, "Happy 90th birthday, Dick Waller. Cincinnati is lucky to have you," 16 Nov. 2019 When a lush slower section arrived, it was almost oversaturated; then followed a gradual descent into chaos spurred by Kyle Brightwell’s ferocious snare drum, and a spider-silk clarinet solo by William Hudgins wandered alone through the ruins., "Guest conductor Dima Slobodeniouk leads the BSO to walk less traveled paths - The Boston Globe," 12 Oct. 2019 But that wasn’t the only compelling variation: Anthony Ross and the cellos made something mournful of the 12th, while the 13th shimmered darkly, Gabriel Campos Zamora’s clarinet singing like a mythological siren on distant rocks. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Classical review: Minnesota Orchestra captivates with intimacy and beauty in season opener," 19 Sep. 2019 Rita enjoyed playing in a trio with her daughter on the clarinet and her husband on the tenor saxophone., "Rita Pisetsky," 23 Aug. 2019 And Doyle’s waltzes before and during the Yule Ball were lithe and lively, as was a bouncy violin/clarinet exchange of solos in the same scene. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Minnesota Orchestra hosts an enjoyable Potter party, wands optional," 25 Oct. 2019 Along with the presentation, Mason will perform clarinet solos. Burbank Leader, "Burbank area events: Author Nathalia Holt to discuss her book about women in animation," 22 Oct. 2019 Anything but standoffish, Gerstein responded in both mood and sound to the sometimes raucous, sometimes tender atmospheres conjured by his orchestral colleagues, especially those on clarinet and percussion. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra paints vibrant self-portrait through Bach, Brahms, and Ades," 14 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for clarinet

Time Traveler

The first known use of clarinet was in 1733

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Statistics for clarinet

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clarinet.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on clarinet

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).


good-natured easy friendliness

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