oboe

noun \ ˈō-(ˌ)bō \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

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

oboist

play \ˈō-(ˌ)bō-ist\ noun

Recent Examples of oboe from the Web

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.

Illustration of oboe

Origin and Etymology of oboe

Italian, from French hautbois — more at hautbois


OBOE Defined for English Language Learners

oboe

noun

Definition of oboe for English Language Learners

  • : 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


OBOE Defined for Kids

oboe

noun \ ˈō-bō \

Definition of oboe for Students

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

History for oboe

The oboe, the English horn, and the bassoon belong to the same group of woodwind instruments. Of the three the oboe has the highest pitch. The English word oboe comes from the Italian name of the instrument, oboe, which in turn comes from the oboe's French name, hautbois. The word hautbois is a compound made up of haut, “high, loud,” and bois, “wood.”



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