brass instrument


: any of a group of wind instruments (such as a French horn, trombone, trumpet, or tuba) that is usually characterized by a long cylindrical or conical metal tube commonly curved two or more times and ending in a flared bell, that produces tones by the vibrations of the player's lips against a usually cup-shaped mouthpiece, and that usually has valves or a slide by which the player may produce all the tones within the instrument's range

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Only the Strong Survive is a product of backyard-studio sessions during lockdown, with longtime producer Ron Aniello playing every non-brass instrument. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 4 Nov. 2022 The only other objects in the room are four long microphones pointed at the sculpture, which produce sonic feedback from the brass instrument, soft, sustained and sublime. New York Times, 17 Mar. 2022 The predominant brass instrument is conical, such as a French horn, as opposed to the cylindrical bore of a trombone. Chris Varias, The Enquirer, 5 Feb. 2022 Allan Jaffe, who played the helicon, a brass instrument, was the link to the musicians and sent them out on the road as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 Nicknamed the Mitchel Telescope after the Observatory’s founder, this 16-foot-long, mahogany and brass instrument is a true work of art and science. Dean Regas, The Enquirer, 9 Oct. 2021 According to the National Park Service, a young Armstrong worked for the family who owned the shop and loaned the future jazz legend money to buy his first cornet -- a brass instrument that resembles a small trumpet. Deena Zaru, ABC News, 15 Sep. 2021 Armstrong purchased his first cornet (a brass instrument shorter and wider than a trumpet) with money loaned from the Karnofskys. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Aug. 2021 Masks are mandatory for all except when eating, drinking, or playing a wind or brass instrument., 8 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brass instrument.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brass instrument was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near brass instrument

Cite this Entry

“Brass instrument.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

brass instrument


: any of a group of musical instruments made of curved tubes of brass in various shapes that includes trumpets, trombones, tubas, and French horns compare percussion instrument, stringed instrument, woodwind sense 1

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