free reed


Definition of free reed

: a reed in a musical instrument (such as a harmonica) that vibrates in an air opening just large enough to allow the reed to move freely — compare beating reed

Examples of free reed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The instrument contains a free reed, a strip of flexible metal that flaps up and down when a player blows through the sheng’s holes, thus creating musical tones. Steve Knopper, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Brief History of the Harmonica," 19 Mar. 2021 The Chinese invented a free reed instrument, called the Sheng, several thousand years ago, but the model that arrived in America originated in Europe. Joan Hunt,, "Bob Hennessy Shares His “World Of Harmonica”," 21 Nov. 2019 Last week, the members of the Mutant Underground were able to free Reed (Stephen Moyer) and Lorna/Polaris (Emma Dumont) from Sentinel Services. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "TV tonight: 'Superior Donuts' premiere, 'The Gifted'," 30 Oct. 2017

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

1833, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of free reed was in 1833

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Free reed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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