oc·​a·​ri·​na ˌä-kə-ˈrē-nə How to pronounce ocarina (audio)
: a simple wind instrument typically having an oval body with finger holes and a projecting mouthpiece

Illustration of ocarina

Illustration of ocarina

Examples of ocarina in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The guitar and ocarina join the orchestra — the Pacific Symphony, conducted by David LaMarche, replacing de la Parra, who couldn’t travel because of an ear infection. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2023 At Ta’ab Nuk Na, researchers also discovered a whistle in the shape of a woman called an ocarina. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Oct. 2022 Residents likely obtained the ocarina while trading with the inhabitants of Lubaantun, an inland city where researchers have discovered similar whistles and the molds used to make them. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Oct. 2022 The singer looked like a true fairy goddess in a floral gown and spent a portion of the song playing the ocarina, an instrument Cowell told her to ditch after her initial audition. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2022 What do a certain mustachioed Italian plumber, an ocarina-playing elf in a green tunic and a gorilla wearing a necktie have in common with the works of classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, 19 Feb. 2022 At dawn, she is awakened, also magically, with the wispy sound of an ocarina, and the final preparations begin. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2022 Lee ran errands for Simon and Kirby, then in their twenties, entertaining or annoying them by playing the ocarina. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ocarina.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian, from Italian dialect, diminutive of oca goose, from Late Latin auca, ultimately from Latin avis bird — more at aviary

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ocarina was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near ocarina

Cite this Entry

“Ocarina.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ocarina. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


oc·​a·​ri·​na ˌäk-ə-ˈrē-nə How to pronounce ocarina (audio)
: a simple musical instrument usually having an oval body with finger holes and a projecting mouthpiece and producing soft flutelike tones

More from Merriam-Webster on ocarina

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