\ 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

Thalea String Quartet; Alexandra Hawley, flute; Paul Hersh, piano; Jesse Barrett, oboe; Robert Giambruno, trumpet. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 31 May 2018 Flooded with flutes and one billion references to getting it on, Tory Lanez keeps it pretty explicit. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Sexiest Songs of 2019 (So Far)," 29 Mar. 2019 Champagne flutes and elegant tableware honors the occasion beautifully. Vogue, "Day 10: Entertain With Ease," 12 Nov. 2018 If Harry and best man Prince William share a cute exchange, refill your champagne flute and down it. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Toast Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with EW's official royal wedding drinking game," 18 May 2018 Gently press edges together, turn under and flute or crimp if desired. Woman's Day, "Good Old-Fashioned Apple Pie," 1 Feb. 2012 For thousands of years these songs came from the ground in the Levant, given voice by the nay, one of the very first reed flutes. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Try a flute with a champagne with a more robust nose, or use them to build your champagne cocktails (more on those below). Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Brut Champagne," 21 Dec. 2018 There was an astronaut named Cady Coleman who brought [a flute to space]. Alyson Krueger, Condé Nast Traveler, "Will Non-Astronauts Survive Space Travel? Q&A with a NASA Researcher," 3 Oct. 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

24 Apr 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

Comments on flute

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having no equal

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