\ ˈfīf How to pronounce fife (audio) \

Definition of fife

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small transverse flute with six to eight finger holes and usually no keys


geographical name
\ ˈfīf How to pronounce Fife (audio) \
variants: or Fifeshire \ ˈfīf-​ˌshir How to pronounce Fife (audio) , -​shər \

Definition of Fife (Entry 2 of 2)

administrative area of eastern Scotland between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth area 509 square miles (1319 square kilometers), population 365,198

Examples of fife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun American fife and drum blues has been popular in the hill country of Mississippi and Tennessee for decades. Lici Beveridge, USA Today, 17 Feb. 2021 Steven Taskovics, 58, a re-enactor from Framingham, Mass., plays the fife in the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums, a group that marches in costume and performs Revolutionary War-era music. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, 1 Apr. 2021 Hill Country Blues guitarist Jessie Mae Hemphill came from a musical family and struck out on her own after many years performing in north Mississippi fife and drum bands. Lici Beveridge, USA Today, 17 Feb. 2021 Calvin Jackson was an innovator, known for incorporating fife and drum blues as well as funk and soul into hill country blues for a musical signature that was his own. Lici Beveridge, USA Today, 17 Feb. 2021 The fife and drum corps is missing in action (because blowing air is a no-no), but new walking tours have been introduced to keep guests warm outside by moving around. Vicky Hallett, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2020 An original member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an old-time string band from North Carolina, Dom Flemons is a singer-songwriter who also plays the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, percussion, quills, rhythm bones... Country Living Staff, Country Living, 12 June 2020 For an unmarked fife like yours, an auction sale might return $100-$150. oregonlive, 3 Jan. 2020 The event includes marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more. Washington Post, 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fife.' 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 fife


1539, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fife


German Pfeife pipe, fife, from Old High German pfīfa, from Vulgar Latin *pipa pipe — more at pipe

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Dictionary Entries Near fife

fiesta flower


fi fa




fife rail

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Statistics for fife

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for fife



English Language Learners Definition of fife

: a musical instrument that looks like a small flute


\ ˈfīf How to pronounce fife (audio) \

Kids Definition of fife

: a small musical instrument like a flute that produces a shrill sound

More from Merriam-Webster on fife

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


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