\ ˈō-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce oboe (audio) \

Definition of oboe

: a double-reed woodwind instrument having a conical tube, a brilliant penetrating tone, and a usual range from B flat below middle C upward for over 2¹/₂ octaves

Illustration of oboe

Illustration of oboe

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Other Words from oboe

oboist \ ˈō-​(ˌ)bō-​ist How to pronounce oboist (audio) \ noun

Examples of oboe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Band instruments range from $700 for the smaller ones — such as oboes and piccolos — to $7,000 for larger instruments such as tubas and sousaphones, Hart said. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "East Ridge High band officials say show will go on despite fire," 11 Sep. 2019 The Hogsetts discovered that the plant can be used to make an oboe reed after one of their friends did just that. Roxanne Washington, cleveland.com, "Cool Spaces: Lush, serene garden along Lake Erie," 9 Aug. 2019 Music Director Riccardo Muti appointed the native Iowan based on the recommendation of a committee of orchestra members that auditioned oboe candidates this season. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "CSO hires new principal oboe, Willliam Welter, one of its youngest first chairs ever," 26 June 2018 Kelsey, who holds degrees in voice and oboe performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, discovered her love of teaching by singing in outreach programs with the Florentine Opera Company and Opera for the Young. Philly.com, "Lindback Foundation 2018 distinguished Philadelphia teachers," 27 Mar. 2018 There were scattered fluffs from the first oboe and horn but nothing to detract from a reading that brought Beethovenian power and eloquence to blazing life. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Blomstedt brought a too-familiar bit of CSO repertory to life," 2 Mar. 2018 The oboe concerto is Vaughan Williams at his pastoral best. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "These CDs will carry classical music lovers through the summer," 25 June 2018 Martin, who passed away in 2016, studied piano and oboe in his youth and worked for the BBC’s classical-music department before joining the staff of the Beatles’ parent label, EMI. Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle, "Classical Mystery Tour dresses up Fab Four in tuxes and tails," 3 July 2018 Michael Lesser, who lives in the next town over, came to Dover to see his daughter play oboe for the Memorial Day ceremony as part of the high school band. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Americans celebrate Independence Day, what does it mean to be a patriot?," 2 July 2018

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

circa 1726, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oboe

Italian, from French hautbois — more at hautbois

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Statistics for oboe

Last Updated

24 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for oboe

The first known use of oboe was circa 1726

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More Definitions for oboe



English Language Learners Definition of oboe

: a musical instrument that is shaped like a tube and that is played by blowing into a small, thin piece at the top of the tube


\ ˈō-bō How to pronounce oboe (audio) \

Kids Definition of oboe

: a woodwind instrument with two reeds that is pitched higher than the bassoon and has a distinctive bright sound

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More from Merriam-Webster on oboe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oboe

Spanish Central: Translation of oboe

Nglish: Translation of oboe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oboe for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oboe

Comments on oboe

What made you want to look up oboe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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