ˈā-ˌtüd How to pronounce étude (audio)
: a piece of music for the practice of a point of technique
: a composition built on a technical motive but played for its artistic value

Examples of étude in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Advertisement Something similar happened with the composition of the etudes themselves. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 Apparently, performing Musser’s etudes for marimba is a rite of passage for percussion majors. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Oct. 2023 But these songs are not so much referential as reverential: meditative daybreak etudes capable of conveying the feeling that all is right in the world. Pitchfork, 28 Sep. 2023 At its worst, the music on Everyone’s Crushed sounds like etudes – studies in experimentalism, finger exercises for tyros in the avant-garde. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 26 May 2023 To treat those simply as etudes and exercises would be a disservice, and Ferrillo deployed the expressive acumen that BSO listeners know well, gracefully responding to the orchestra. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Mar. 2023 In the etude inspired by Native American Margaret Bradshaw’s My World is Not Flat, a playful Pueblo dance song comes up now and then. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 10 Mar. 2021 So far, Wingfield has released a handful of etudes. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 27 Apr. 2020 After Barker’s tour through the obstacle course of Gubaidulina etudes, Manuel de Falla’s radiant Concerto for harpsichord, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin and cello ended the concert with a carnival of sound. BostonGlobe.com, 22 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'étude.' 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, literally, study, from Middle French estude, estudie, from Old French — more at study

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of étude was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near étude

Cite this Entry

“étude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/%C3%A9tude. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a piece of music for practice

from French étude, literally, "study"

More from Merriam-Webster on étude

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