\ 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 \ -​ˌshir How to pronounce Fifeshire (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

His wooden flutes, fifes and whistles are still being played by fifers and folk musicians around the world., "Ralph G. Sweet Jr.," 21 June 2019 Marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more. Leada Gore |,, "‘Salute to America’ July 4th celebration in Washington, D.C.: Schedule, how to watch, livestream," 4 July 2019 The annual 4th of July celebration includes a joint concert by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Jazz Ambassadors of the United States Army Field Band, a fife and drum parade and of course, a fireworks finale. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "13 places to watch fireworks in metro Detroit this 4th of July," 26 June 2019 Historic Fort Snelling: Annual Independence Day celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with cannon and musket salutes, military dress parades, and fife and drum music. Zekriah Chaudhry, Twin Cities, "Here is where to see fireworks and parades on the Fourth," 27 June 2019 The parade will include marching bands, fife and drum corps. Leada Gore |,, "July 4th in Washington, D.C. schedule released: Trump speech, parade, flyovers planned," 19 June 2019 Performers included unicyclists from The Gym Dandies Children’s Circus in Scarborough, Maine, and the Mattatuck Drum Band, the oldest fife and drum corps in the nation. Grace Dickinson,, "With pomp, pageantry and a parade, Philly celebrates the Fourth of July," 4 July 2018 Visitors also can enjoy games, historic cannon fire, a traditional fife and drum parade and food concessions. Lauryn Azu, Detroit Free Press, "5 towns where you can celebrate the Fourth of July in a big way," 27 June 2018 Photo: franck fife/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images France (7) France is, as ever, the World Cup’s moody artist. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "World Cup 2018: A Guide to Every Team," 12 June 2018

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

Statistics for fife

Last Updated

26 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for fife

The first known use of fife was in 1539

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fife

Spanish Central: Translation of fife

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

Comments on fife

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


to make a temporary encampment

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