\ 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 Principal oboe William Welter brought surpassing tenderness to the opening phrases of the second movement. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "CSO review: A dynamic debut from violinist Ray Chen," 6 Dec. 2019 Distinct themes represent the characters; the child’s theme, warmly introduced by Mark McEwen on the oboe d’amore, was easiest to pick out. BostonGlobe.com, "Tanglewood performance with Leonidas Kavakos," 28 Sep. 2019 The first oboe player will play the note A — and Maryland’s 2019-20 classical music season will officially be underway. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Seven questions you might have about the BSO’s new contract with its musicians," 24 Sep. 2019 Two of those lines are played by two melodic instruments — violins, recorders, or in the case of Zelenka’s work, two oboes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Symphony’s wind players shine in East County ECHO chamber recital," 29 Sep. 2019 Without the bright contributions of so many soloists on timpani, baroque trumpet, traverse flute, and oboe, many sections wouldn’t have been half as potent. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Apollo’s Fire makes vibrant case for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in holiday canon," 17 Dec. 2019 Featuring Michael Hill, violin/viola; Kathy Raymond, violin; Mitchell Rollins, oboe; Gary Pope, director, organ and piano; Sharon Harrah and Collin Crouthers, accompanists. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville shows this week: Mike Epps, Bendigo Fletcher, Yule Log Festival & more," 27 Dec. 2019 The spatial placement of Geoffrey Burgess’s oboe and an unnamed soprano chorister for the echo effects caught the glow of the church’s acoustics to perfection, and both artists did lovely work. Joe Banno, Washington Post, "One aria sums up a joyful Washington Bach Consort ‘Christmas Oratorio’," 23 Dec. 2019 Joshua Robison and Michael Tilson Thomas met in an orchestra in California — Robison on cello, Thomas on oboe. Washington Post, "Michael Tilson Thomas was once the ‘bad boy of classical music.’ Now, at 74, he still conducts with childlike delight.," 6 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for oboe

Time Traveler

The first known use of oboe was circa 1726

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Statistics for oboe

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oboe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oboe. Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for oboe


How to pronounce oboe (audio)

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

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