\ ˈflüt How to pronounce flute (audio) \

Definition of flute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

b : a keyed woodwind instrument consisting of a cylindrical tube which is stopped at one end and which has a side hole over which air is blown to produce the tone and having a range from middle C upward for three octaves
2 : something long and slender: such as
a : a tall slender wineglass
b : a grooved pleat (as on a hat brim)
3 : a rounded groove specifically : one of the vertical parallel grooves on a classical architectural column


fluted; fluting

Definition of flute (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to play a flute
2 : to produce a flutelike sound

transitive verb

1 : to utter with a flutelike sound
2 : to form flutes in

Illustration of flute

Illustration of flute


flute 1b

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from flute


flutelike \ ˈflüt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce flutelike (audio) \ adjective
fluty or flutey \ ˈflü-​tē How to pronounce flutey (audio) \ adjective


fluter noun

Did You Know?

This is a woodwind instrument whose sound is produced by blowing against a sharp edge. Flutes may be end-blown, like the recorder, or may have a round shape, like the ocarina; however, the term usually refers to the transverse flute of Western music. The transverse flute, a tubular instrument held sideways to the right, appeared in Greece and Italy by the second century ce. By the 16th century, flutes with finger holes but no keys were in use in Europe. Keys began to be added in the late 17th century. Later 19th-century innovations resulted in the modern flute. The cylindrical tube may be made of wood or, more often, a precious metal or alloy. The flute family also includes the piccolo, the alto flute, and the rare bass flute.

Examples of flute in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Decked out with flutes of champagne, delicious sandwiches, scones and tea, Black women at the top of their games gathered together to uplift one another and form new connections. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "Lauren Nash of 'Black Girl in Om' Brings a Moment of Meditation to ESSENCE Festival," 7 July 2019 Since 1500 Grant formerly housed a jewelry store, opening a flute store didn’t require zoning changes that can lead to costly delays. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "North Beach’s empty storefronts: Business owners tell their stories," 13 June 2019 The flute-playing was brief, but judging from the crowd's reaction, satisfying. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "These were the best moments from Lizzo’s Indy Pride performance," 29 May 2019 The ancient Greeks used sound vibration to aid in digestion, treat mental disturbance, and induce sleep, and even Aristotle's De Anima detailed how flute music could purify the soul. Nicole Dellert, Allure, "I Tried a Sound Bath — Here's What This Meditative Practice Is Really Like," 24 Oct. 2018 Many social media users noted that the random flute-playing sighting was a signature Andre 3000 move. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "A woman saw an Andre 3000 look-alike playing the flute at the airport. Turns out, it was him," 15 June 2019 On Thursday, June 13, our body-positive, flute-playing queen performed at the 50th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony in honor of Missy Elliott’s induction. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Fans Once Again Call for Lizzo to Portray Ursula in "The Little Mermaid"," 15 June 2019 The wine list includes eight sparklers (for that perfect oysters and champagne pairing!), including six by the flute. Birmingham Magazine, al.com, "Food News: new cafes, a healthy food pop-up, and more," 11 June 2019 That celebratory New Year’s Eve flute of champagne. Nadia Berenstein, SELF, "Holiday Parties Bring Out the Worst of My Rosacea," 19 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kendall went more glam, in a metallic mesh one-shoulder dress by Alexandre Vauthier that ruched at the waist and fluted out at the asymmetrical hem. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid Coordinate Their Looks in Paris," 27 Sep. 2018 The district is also helping the McHenry County Conservation District boost populations of creek heelsplitter and fluted-shell freshwater mussels in Nippersink Creek at Glacial Park in McHenry County. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Project works to boost number of mussels in Kane, McHenry counties," 2 May 2018 Grease a 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom and fluted edges. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Lemon meringue pie is an old-fashioned but dreamy confection worth making," 22 Mar. 2018 Roll out, then cut 12 circles with a round, fluted biscuit cutter (Or use a glass). Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "A recipe and the cook behind it: Kat Cahill of Saundra's Kitchen," 28 Feb. 2018 The building's lavish decor includes antiqued mirrors, fluted paneling and, on the exterior, turquoise gold leaf and terra cotta tiles. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "Update: Johnny Depp Has Sold Four Of His Five Los Angeles Penthouses," 29 Aug. 2017 That's going to be especially tough in this instance because the wide tower that supports the surge tank is circular in form and fluted with rounded ribs that stiffen its flanks. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Can the city and artist Sam3 create a public art masterpiece on a surge tank? (photos)," 27 Jan. 2018 The bright-green marble, white fluted plaster, gold-leafed walls, apple-green velvet banquets and curvaceous Saarinen chairs create a space outside of time. Damon Johnstun, OregonLive.com, "Paris-based designer's elegant work documented in new book 'Joseph Dirand Interior' (photos)," 2 Nov. 2017 Have ready an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (or a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan). Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lemon-Lime Meringue Pie from Mustards Grill," 15 Sep. 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for flute


Middle English floute, from Anglo-French floute, fleute, from Old French flaüte, probably of imitative origin

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Statistics for flute

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for flute

The first known use of flute was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for flute



English Language Learners Definition of flute

: a musical instrument that is shaped like a thin pipe and that is played by blowing across a hole near one end
: a tall, thin glass that is used for drinking champagne


\ ˈflüt How to pronounce flute (audio) \

Kids Definition of flute

: a woodwind instrument in the form of a slender tube open at one end that is played by blowing across a hole near the closed end

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More from Merriam-Webster on flute

Spanish Central: Translation of flute

Nglish: Translation of flute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flute for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flute

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