Definition of clef in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /klɛf/


Any of several symbols placed at the left hand end of a stave, indicating the pitch of the notes written on it.
Example sentences
  • Guidelines for clefs, key signatures, bar-lines, and notes are similarly drawn in.
  • He also said the pianist may benefit from singing or playing individual parts, especially when there are transposing parts or those that use transposing clefs.
  • For one thing, he himself tells us that he had learned all the old clefs before he was 12.


Late 16th century: from French, from Latin clavis 'key'.

Words that rhyme with clef

chef, deaf, def, eff, Geoff, Jeff, Kiev, ref, teff, tone-deaf

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: clef

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.