Share this entry

hautboy Line breaks: haut|boy
Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)əʊbɔɪ/

Definition of hautboy in English:


Archaic form of oboe.
Example sentences
  • His voice had been likened to an oboe, the Elizabethan hautboy.
  • Other timbres no longer carry their original significance: cornets for dignitaries not high enough in rank to merit trumpets, hautboys for banquets, consorts of flutes or recorders for rituals of death and transfiguration.
  • The hautbois or ‘highwood’ as the direct translation would have it, came to us through its stages of hautboy, dropping the ‘h’ and altering vowels to oboe.


Mid 16th century: from French hautbois, from haut 'high' + bois 'wood'.

Words that rhyme with hautboy

doughboy, lowboy

Definition of hautboy in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...