Definition of hautboy in English:


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


Archaic form of oboe.
More 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'.

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