Definition of musette in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /myo͞oˈzet/


1A kind of small bagpipe played with bellows, common in the French court in the 17th-18th centuries and in later folk music.
Example sentences
  • To make matters worse, ‘musette’ was also given to the bagpipe musette de cour, amongst others.
  • Examples of bellows-blown bagpipes include the Northumbrian small-pipes, the Scottish Lowland or Border bagpipe, the Irish uillean bagpipe, the musette, and the dudy.
  • Oppermann's legend was assured and to this day old timers still refer to musettes as ‘Oppy bags’, since the Australian is credited with inventing them.
1.1A tune or piece of music imitating the sound of the musette, typically with a drone.
Example sentences
  • The racist suspicions of the French toward Mediterraneans underlay the eventual ironic triumph of Italian accordion music as the defining Parisian sound of hal musette.
  • A jazz outing with the feel of many genres - klezmer, tango and musette - this is a true world music played by a quintet of reeds, accordion, violin, trombone (doubling on tuba) and drums.
  • The trio bring their mastery of flute, bouzouki and accordion to bear on traditions as diverse as musette and klezmer, reminding us of the common threads that run through music the world over.
1.2A dance to a musette, especially in the 18th-century French court.
Example sentences
  • Following a wave of immigration from the rural French Auvergne region to Paris, the hicks from the sticks brought with them the musette dance - named after an early precursor to the accordion that was central to the music.
1.3A small simple variety of oboe, used chiefly in 19th-century France.
Example sentences
  • The piccolo oboe or musette used to be a bagpipe chanter and was very popular at the time of Marie-Antoinette at the French Court in Versailles.
  • The second became the desire to do the same thing for all five oboes from musette to bass.
  • Exceptions are the zampogna, the musette, and the uillean pipes, which have double reeds throughout.
2 (also musette bag) US A small knapsack.
Example sentences
  • As we prepared for the day's march, my head felt a bit sore from some hard object in my musette bag.
  • When suture material ran short in the middle of one operation, one of the nurses ran for her ‘musette bag’ of personal hygiene items and found ‘a spool of white thread… and they sewed up his bladder with that.’
  • This musette bag is made from waterproof and ultra quiet stealth cloth with a waterproof rubber backing.


Late Middle English: from Old French, diminutive of muse 'bagpipe'.

Words that rhyme with musette

abet, aiguillette, anisette, Annette, Antoinette, arête, Arlette, ate, baguette, banquette, barbette, barrette, basinet, bassinet, beget, Bernadette, beset, bet, Bette, blanquette, Brett, briquette, brochette, brunette (US brunet), Burnett, cadet, caravanette, cassette, castanet, charette, cigarette (US cigaret), clarinet, Claudette, Colette, coquette, corvette, couchette, courgette, croquette, curette, curvet, Debrett, debt, dinette, diskette, duet, epaulette (US epaulet), flageolet, flannelette, forget, fret, galette, gazette, Georgette, get, godet, grisette, heavyset, Jeanette, jet, kitchenette, La Fayette, landaulet, launderette, layette, lazaret, leatherette, let, Lett, lorgnette, luncheonette, lunette, Lynette, maisonette, majorette, maquette, Marie-Antoinette, marionette, Marquette, marquisette, martinet, met, minaret, minuet, moquette, motet, Nanette, net, noisette, nonet, novelette, nymphet, octet, Odette, on-set, oubliette, Paulette, pet, Phuket, picquet, pillaret, pincette, pipette, piquet, pirouette, planchette, pochette, quartet, quickset, quintet, regret, ret, Rhett, roomette, rosette, roulette, satinette, septet, serviette, sestet, set, sett, sextet, silhouette, soubrette, spinet, spinneret, statuette, stet, stockinet, sublet, suffragette, Suzette, sweat, thickset, threat, Tibet, toilette, tret, underlet, upset, usherette, vedette, vet, vignette, vinaigrette, wagonette, wet, whet, winceyette, yet, Yvette

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mu·sette

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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