Definition of flute in English:

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Pronunciation: /flo͞ot/


1A wind instrument made from a tube with holes along it that are stopped by the fingers or keys, held vertically or horizontally so that the player’s breath strikes a narrow edge. The modern orchestral form, typically made of metal, is held horizontally and has an elaborate set of keys.
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 similar tone.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
2.2A cylindrical groove, as on pastry.
Example sentences
  • In addition, they show well-marked bottom-structures, which have not been described from modern deposits, such as groove and flute casts on their undersides.
  • Perez-Estaun described typical turbiditic sedimentary structures such as groove and flute casts and prod marks, as well as trace fossils in the pelites.
  • Finish the edges as you like - I like to do flutes, but I warn you that high, dramatic flutes as pictured will droop in the oven, because lard crusts just are too soft for big flutes like that.
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.


1 [with direct speech] Speak in a melodious way reminiscent of the sound of a flute: “What do you do?” she fluted
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.1 [no object] literary Play, or seem to play, a flute or pipe: to him who sat upon the rocks, and fluted to the morning sea [with object]: some swan fluting a wild carol
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.
2 [with object] (often as adjective fluted) Make flutes or grooves in: fluted columns
More example sentences
  • He began by adding a light Baroque facade with pilasters and massive fluted columns at the main, upper tier, topped by a balustrade with vases and statues.
  • The new space was panelled throughout, and fluted Corinthian columns and pilasters were added.
  • A glaze highlights detailing in the ginger-stained doors and fluted columns.
grooved, channeled, furrowed, ribbed, corrugated, ridged
2.1Make trumpet-shaped frills on (a garment): a fluted collar
More example sentences
  • Ruffle necklines are big too, as well as fluted sleeves, hem flounces and ruched side panels.
  • The small card at the foot of the mannequin told her that the skirt was made of duchess satin while the bodice was overlaid with soft cotton lace, and she could easily see the scalloped neckline and fluted sleeves.
  • This theme of heightened elegance was carried over into the fall collection with the fluted jersey gown (this time in violet) leading the charge.



Pronunciation: /-ˌlīk/
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'.

Words that rhyme with flute

acute, argute, astute, beaut, Beirut, boot, bruit, brut, brute, Bute, butte, Canute, cheroot, chute, commute, compute, confute, coot, cute, depute, dilute, dispute, galoot, hoot, impute, jute, loot, lute, minute, moot, newt, outshoot, permute, pollute, pursuit, recruit, refute, repute, route, salute, Salyut, scoot, shoot, Shute, sloot, snoot, subacute, suit, telecommute, Tonton Macoute, toot, transmute, undershoot, uproot, Ute, volute

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: flute

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