Definition of ophicleide in English:


Line breaks: ophi|cleide
Pronunciation: /ˈɒfɪklʌɪd


  • An obsolete bass brass instrument with keys, used in bands in the 19th century but superseded by the tuba.
    More 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'.

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