wood·wind | \ˈwu̇d-ˌwind \

Definition of woodwind 

1 : any of a group of wind instruments (such as a clarinet, flute, oboe, or saxophone) that are characterized by a cylindrical or conical tube of wood or metal usually ending in a slightly flared bell, that produce tones by the vibration of one or two reeds in the mouthpiece or by the passing of air over a mouth hole, and that usually have finger holes or keys by which the player may produce all the tones within an instrument's range

2 woodwinds plural : the woodwind section of a band or orchestra

Examples of woodwind in a Sentence

He plays all the woodwind instruments very well.

Recent Examples on the Web

With a small ensemble backing him (no brass, just three woodwinds), Conte took obvious joy in filling in the orchestral voids. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Wanamaker organist Conte brings thrilling color to mostly drab Philadelphia Orchestra program," 6 May 2018 Scored for choir, percussion, piano, guitar, bass guitar, and woodwinds, it can be thought of as a loose-knit meditation on Bernstein’s peculiar work of spiritual theater music. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "At the Mann this summer: Leonard Bernstein, Harry Potter, the Philadelphia Eagles, and what orchestras are becoming," 24 May 2018 The Wildcat Band has about 65 players on woodwinds, brass and percussion. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "North County School News, May 10," 10 May 2018 Elizabeth Rowe’s attorney said she was paid about $70,000 less than principal oboist John Ferrillo, a fellow woodwind principal, in 2017. Brian J. White, BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s how much the BSO’s highest-paid musicians (all men) made in 2015-16," 6 July 2018 Waves of melodic lines bubbling upward from the woodwinds and shattering declamations from the brass are but two examples; an edgy passage for string quartet is another. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "BSO New Music Festival filled with eclectic works, electric performances," 26 June 2018 The overdriven rendition didn't pause for much detail and nuance, foregoing Mozart's ingenious, darker woodwind colorations in favor of determined ebullience. Rick Schultz, latimes.com, "L.A. Chamber Orchestra musicians offer a fitting remembrance for one of their own," 22 May 2018 In the latter, both the woodwinds and vocal tenor obviously recall Blackstar, the final album by David Bowie. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Nine Inch Nails Is Still Pushing the Sound of Catharsis," 22 June 2018 Pianos delivered – by mule and wagon The store was founded by Holloway’s grandfather, J.T. Holloway: one of eight brothers who had a brass-and-woodwind band, then scattered across the country, opening musical instrument stores. Gavin Edwards, charlotteobserver, "Pianos, mules, guitar strings: A 106-year-old family business is bidding it all goodbye," 8 June 2018

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

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to woodwind

woodwind section

Statistics for woodwind

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for woodwind

The first known use of woodwind was in 1876

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More Definitions for woodwind



English Language Learners Definition of woodwind

: any one of the group of musical instruments that includes flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and saxophones

woodwinds : the section of a band or orchestra that plays woodwind instruments


wood·wind | \ˈwu̇d-ˌwind \

Kids Definition of woodwind

: one of the group of wind instruments consisting of the flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and sometimes saxophones

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