\ 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 flute (audio) \ adjective
fluty or flutey \ ˈflü-​tē How to pronounce flute (audio) \ adjective


fluter noun

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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 uneven surface imitates the bottom of the high-quality champagne flute, which is intentionally etched by lasers to create delicate bubbles. Akiko Katayama, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Niloufar Nourbakhsh’s evocatively titled, White Helmets as white as death (2017), for flute, violin and viola, pays tribute to the White Helmets, an organization of volunteers in Syria who help civilians impacted by the ongoing civil war. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 17 May 2021 Her mother, Lee Clark, plays flute and sings harmony vocals in the group, which celebrates its 13th anniversary with a free Wednesday livestream performance at The Casbah. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 May 2021 The Torrance, California family returned home from dinner on April 21 in Torrance to discover migrating birds had invaded their home through the chimney flute, KTLA reported. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2021 The April 10 episode of Saturday Night Live featured an epic surprise collaboration between Chris Redd, Pete Davidson, Kid Cudi — and a weird little flute. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, 12 Apr. 2021 The 'Mad Scene,' in which the flute acts as Lucia's alter ego, is a fun tightrope act of parallel scales and echoing trills. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, 8 Apr. 2021 Period instruments supplied lovely sonorities: silvery violins and viola da gamba, a wonderfully dense-toned wooden flute, mellow oboes, and trumpets that brightened the ensemble without dominating it. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 19 Apr. 2021 After rehearsing quietly for two months, the Cortez/Williams Project will share their new musical ideas in concert with the support of Marco Bojorquez on bass, Jeremy Katalenic on drums, Bob Thornton on piano and Dan Jordan on saxophone and flute. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, 8 Apr. 2021 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, 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 And please, please take at least one of the champagne flutes home with you. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 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

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flute. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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 that is played by blowing across a hole near one end


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