Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: oph·i·cleide
Pronunciation: /ˈäfəklīd

Definition of ophicleide in English:


An obsolete bass brass instrument with keys, used in bands in the 19th century but superseded by the tuba.
Example sentences
  • After early lessons on the ophicleide, an instrument for which he seems to have shown little aptitude, he turned to the flute, studying with Kuhlau.
  • Happily, the ophicleide is much more predictable than the serpent, and it is possible to show a fairly typical fingering pattern that will work with most examples of the instrument.


mid 19th century: from French ophicléide, from Greek ophis 'serpent' + kleis, kleid- 'key'.

Definition of ophicleide in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day glen
Pronunciation: ɡlɛn
a narrow valley, especially in Scotland or Ireland