\ 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

Other Words from flute


flutelike \ ˈflüt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce flute (audio) \ adjective
fluty or flutey \ ˈflü-​tē How to pronounce flute (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 The clutch resembles a tiny upright racing flag, the brake looks like a towering art deco champagne flute (albeit one with a screw in the dregs), and the gas is nothing more than two rolling wheels dangling from a long rod. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, 30 July 2022 Celtic harp, flute, violin and various smaller percussion instruments performed a pastoral, thematic soundtrack. Josh Chesler, SPIN, 20 July 2022 The talent-rich lineup also includes Tucker, Holly Hofmann on flute, Melonie Grinnell on keyboards, Lexi Pulido on vocals and guitar, Monette Marino on percussion, Evona Wascinski on bass and Samantha Lincoln on drums. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 Both of Northcut’s parents perform in the orchestra; his father plays the tuba and his mother plays the flute. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 19 May 2022 That is when thrash-metal pioneers Metallica lost an award—the category now called best metal performance—to Jethro Tull, a 1970s act whose music incorporates the flute. Neil Shah, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2022 Alyssa Alexander, who graduated from Ocoee in 2014, played the flute, piccolo, and piano during her time in the band. Nathaniel Marrero, orlandosentinel.com, 28 Oct. 2021 Investigators recovered surveillance footage from the bar that the complaint says shows the doctor pulling something from his pants' pocket and sprinkling a white powdery substance into the woman's flute, per the outlets. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, 3 June 2022 In one ad, a sharp-looking male model with shaved head and eyebrow piercings delicately pours the makgeolli into a champagne flute. Jake Kwon, CNN, 22 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That year featured concerts by, respectively, organ legend Jimmy Smith, sax and flute great James Moody, and the band TanaReid. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2021 Other columns at the kitchen are fluted mahogany with designs of grapes and Greek keys. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 9 May 2020 Air vents are fluted, as on C- and E-classes, while the rest of the interior is quite identifiably Mercedes and decidedly different from other luxury brands, especially BMW's. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, 27 Apr. 2020 The barrel on this piece is 416R stainless steel in .920 diameter, button rifled, with a Bentz chamber, fluted and threaded, with an 11-degree target crown. Michael R. Shea, Field & Stream, 21 Jan. 2020 With a fluted, 24-inch bull barrel, the LR-204 will reap all the velocity possible out of the 204 Ruger. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, 17 Sep. 2019 The bolt body is fluted for looks and reduced weight. Outdoor Life, 31 Jan. 2019 Fabric was ruffled and gathered on shoulders to create larger-than-life collars, sleeves were fluted, and hems were bubbled. Georgia Murray, refinery29.com, 19 Feb. 2020 The deep spiral fluting on the barrel keeps the weight of the rifle down but doesn’t have any adverse impact on accuracy. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, 2 Jan. 2020 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for flute

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near flute



flûte à bec

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flute. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for flute


\ ˈflüt How to pronounce flute (audio) \

Kids Definition of flute

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


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