wood·​wind | \ ˈwu̇d-ˌwind How to pronounce woodwind (audio) \

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

In late 2017, the school cut ties with Eric Alexander Hewitt, a saxophonist and also a one-time chair of the conservatory’s woodwind department. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Conservatory fires instructor after complaints about explicit texts," 24 Aug. 2019 Monday, Wednesday and Friday will feature a different family of instruments: woodwinds, strings and brass respectively. Elizabeth Nonemaker, baltimoresun.com, "If no one else is going to play the subway piano, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians say they will," 25 July 2019 Tech contributions are terrifically suited to the production, especially composer John Debney's score, which, with its blasts of brass and eruptions of woodwinds, brings all the right tones to this family amusement. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hocus Pocus': THR's 1993 Review," 16 July 2019 The musicians -- students from Bangkok's Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music -- warm up, the sounds of brass, strings, woodwinds and percussion filling the air. Karla Cripps, CNN, "Meet the rebel Thai composer taking music to unheard heights," 10 July 2019 Joe, for example, is described as heavily breathing, and so the sound of breath became a jumping-off point for my use of woodwind instruments like the contralto clarinet and the flute. Paige Hymson, latimes.com, "Play Next: The story behind a podcast’s original music," 25 June 2019 Its procession of march rhythms, dark woodwind colorings and angular piano interjections has a cinematic quality that suggests Price’s early work as an organist for silent films. Brian Wise, WSJ, "Florence Price in Concert and on Disc: A Harvest of Rediscovery," 5 Dec. 2018 There are lovely compositional touches: the quartet-like writing for strings early in the first piece; the wistful woodwinds of the pastoral second; the catchy, accented rhythms and expansive string themes of the Tchaikovsky-like third piece. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "Uncertain Tempo," 31 Dec. 2018 The orchestra plays with extremes to create tension, setting high, twittering woodwinds against groaning brass. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Marnie’ Review: A Thief’s Secrets," 22 Oct. 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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Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

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The first known use of woodwind was in 1876

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English Language Learners Definition of woodwind

: any one of the group of musical instruments that includes flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and saxophones
: the section of a band or orchestra that plays woodwind instruments


wood·​wind | \ ˈwu̇d-ˌwind How to pronounce woodwind (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on woodwind

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with woodwind

Spanish Central: Translation of woodwind

Nglish: Translation of woodwind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about woodwind

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