\ 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 The selections are by Mozart (Serenade in C minor, K. 388, for wind octet), Brahms (Viola Quintet in G major, Op. 111), Ravel (Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet) and George Walker (Lyric for Strings). Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "With normal concerts canceled, Dallas Symphony makes new audience connections," 18 June 2020 Like the vuvuzela, which is a simple plastic tube, the flute offers a relatively straight shot for particles. Gregory Barber, Wired, "The Science Behind Orchestras' Careful Covid Comeback," 8 June 2020 Such winds amplified the flute-like sound so intensely last week that some residents reported hearing it up to 3 miles away. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, "Renovations Turn Golden Gate Bridge into Eerie Wind Instrument," 14 June 2020 But don't expect a crystal clear sparkler to fill a champagne flute. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Welcome to pet-nat summer. Here's where to buy the natural sparkling wine in metro Phoenix," 12 June 2020 How do the emissions from the enormous bell of a tuba compare with a straight-shooting flute? Gregory Barber, Wired, "The Science Behind Orchestras' Careful Covid Comeback," 8 June 2020 Davison quit oboe, flute, and piano lessons to focus solely on the bassoon—a decision of passion but also strategy. Jacob Sweet, The New Yorker, "Bassoonfluencers: The World of Instagram Practice Accounts," 6 June 2020 The flute playing apparently brings people in the campsite together. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Homecoming Season 2 Recap," 26 May 2020 The producer Jason Evigan set the musical vibe by sampling the sound of a Persian flute, while Lipa and her co-writers tried to match the positive energy and driving beat. Joe Coscarelli, New York Times, "Dua Lipa’s ‘Physical’ Gets You Moving. See How She Makes a Dance Hit.," 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other columns at the kitchen are fluted mahogany with designs of grapes and Greek keys. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "All brick and stone — no wood — make this $1.5M Bloomfield Twp. home memorable," 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, "The baby Benz has grown up—the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, reviewed," 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, "Best New Rimfire Rifles and Handguns of the 2020 SHOT Show," 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, "The 30 Best AR-Style Rifles for Hunting and Personal Defense," 17 Sep. 2019 The bolt body is fluted for looks and reduced weight. Outdoor Life, "16 New Rifles from SHOT Show 2019," 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, "JW Anderson Drew The Coolest Crowd Of London Fashion Week So Far," 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, "Best Guns of the Decade," 2 Jan. 2020 And please, please take at least one of the champagne flutes home with you. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "‘Anything you want, take it’: A downsizing party after 45 years in the same house," 14 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for flute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for flute

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flute. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for flute


How to pronounce flute (audio)

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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