Definition of flute in English:


Line breaks: flute
Pronunciation: /fluːt


  • 1A wind instrument made from a tube with holes that are stopped by the fingers or keys, held vertically or horizontally (in which case it is also called a transverse flute) so that the player’s breath strikes a narrow edge. The modern orchestral form is a transverse flute, typically made of metal, with an elaborate set of keys.
    More example sentences
    • Reading the literature, one can hear fiddles, wood flutes, bagpipes, guitar, mandolins and bodhráns.
    • The traditional instruments are bagpipes, reed flutes, drums, and wind instruments.
    • Drums and the flute were the musical instruments of the Indians before the Spanish conquest.
  • 1.1An organ stop with wooden or metal flue pipes producing a tone similar to that of a flute.
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    • In Petrusberg, South Africa, churchgoers voted not to get rid of a friend - a cobra who lived in the ceiling, always came out to listen when the organist played the organ's flute stops, fled back to its hole when the preaching started.
    • After intermission, the musicians began gently with pieces featuring the organ's flute stops and a quartet of recorders.
    • A colorful Swell Oboe and Vox Humana provide the organ with attractive solo voices; the latter adds a mystical contribution to the strings and flutes of the organ.
  • 2 Architecture An ornamental vertical groove in a column.
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    • It was yellowish-brown, and it collected in the flutes of the column.
    • A more elaborate Doric capital of white marble, with flutes on the necking, is stored west of the building, to the west of the marble throne in room A.
    • This capital cannot be associated with the plain marble drum because of its size and the flutes on the necking.
  • 2.1A trumpet-shaped frill on a dress or other garment.
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    • The skirt has seven gores, the seams being concealed by rolling flutes which result from plaits underfolded below the hips.
    • Whether it's flute hem, a-lines, or high-waisted pencils, we have the skirt for you.
    • On this page look out for the dropped waist bodice, above knee skirt lengths that begin to hesitate and gain illusory length with the addition of flutes and frills.
  • 3A tall, narrow wine glass: a flute of champagne
    More example sentences
    • Everything from plastic cups, empty beer bottles, used disposable coffee cups, to wine glasses and champagne flutes can be found at the exhibit.
    • The champagne flute is tall and narrow to slow the loss of the CO2 bubbles, to keep it from going ‘flat’ for as long as possible.
    • Guests have been asked for eight sherry glasses, eight champagne flutes, eight whisky tumblers, eight brandy goblets and two decanters.


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  • 1 [no object] literary Play a flute or pipe.
    More example sentences
    • When he reached the river's edge, he came to a sharp halt, but his fingers fluted on, the instrument still tuneful.
    • When the corn began to grow the chief put up his altar, sang and fluted, but he did all that alone.
  • 1.1Speak in a melodious way: ‘What do you do?’ she fluted
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    • In fluting, childish voices, they spoke of their compassion for the poor and homeless.
    • Her voice is particularly attractive: fluted and clear, kinder than the hard-edged Sloane of caricature and, most importantly, never sneering.
    • There are no melodramatic trills or fluting crescendos in her everyday speech.



More example sentences
  • But generally it is accepted that choirboys produce a more flute-like, pure, penetrating voice than girls, who have a slightly more breathy and husky quality.
  • The flute-like ney and the rebec-like kemenche make peculiar sounds that instantly evoke Turkey or Persia and which have an eerily human affect in their tone that is remarkable.
  • The village band consisted of five men with flute-like objects, one bloke with an enormous bass drum and a small child with a snare drum and a bad sense of rhythm.


Middle English: from Old French flahute, probably from Provençal flaüt, perhaps a blend of flaujol 'flageolet' + laüt 'lute'.

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