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[kawr-net for 1; kawr-nit, kawr-net for 2–8] /kɔrˈnɛt for 1; ˈkɔr nɪt, kɔrˈnɛt for 2–8/
Music. a valved wind instrument of the trumpet family.
a small cone of paper twisted at the end and used for holding candy, nuts, etc.
a pastry cone, usually filled with whipped cream.
British. a conical wafer, as for ice cream; cone.
a large, white, winged headdress formerly worn by the members of the Sisters of Charity.
a woman's headdress, often cone-shaped, usually of delicate fabrics and having lappets of lace or other material, worn by women from the 14th to the 18th century.
a pennant or flag used for signaling in a navy.
(formerly) the officer who carried the colors in a troop of cavalry:
the cornet of horse.
Origin of cornet
1325-75; Middle English < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to corn horn (< Latin cornū; see cornu) + -et -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cornet
Historical Examples
  • The cornet and bass-viol had put in an appearance, but the pianist had been lost in the shuffle.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • It is stated that the Oneida Indians have organized a cornet band.

  • The cornet hesitated for a little, and then told his uncle the name of his accomplice.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Then at the sharp order of the cornet, the little troop started for Bridgewater.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • Saul Lapham, a friend of his, plays the cornet at the choir-rehearsals.

  • It is, sir, as well as the cutter for Mr. cornet and the quarter-masters.

    The Two Admirals J. Fenimore Cooper
  • They must get close to us, to be able to do that to-night, cornet!

    The Two Admirals J. Fenimore Cooper
  • See me, do you say, Mr. cornet; in his own cabin, as soon as it is convenient?

    The Two Admirals J. Fenimore Cooper
  • Talking of that,” said Lennox, “the cornet and his men ought to have been off to-night.

    The Kopje Garrison George Manville Fenn
  • Watch him on the countermarch when they pass the Radnor cornet band.

    Back Home Eugene Wood
British Dictionary definitions for cornet


Also called cornet à pistons (ˈkɔːnɪt ə ˈpɪstənz; French) (kɔrnɛ a pistɔ̃). a three-valved brass instrument of the trumpet family. Written range: about two and a half octaves upwards from E below middle C. It is a transposing instrument in B flat or A
a person who plays the cornet
a variant spelling of cornett
a cone-shaped paper container for sweets, etc
(Brit) a cone-shaped wafer container for ice cream
(formerly) the lowest rank of commissioned cavalry officer in the British army
(South African) short for field cornet
a starched and wired muslin or lace cap worn by women from the 12th to the 15th centuries
the large white headdress of some nuns
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from corn, from Latin cornūhorn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cornet

c.1400, "A wind instrument made of wood and provided with six finger holes" [Middle English Dictionary], from Old French cornet (14c.) "a small horn," diminutive of corn "a horn," from Latin cornu "horn" (see horn (n.)). Modern use is short for cornet-à-pistons "cornet with pistons."

The quality of the tone is penetrating and unsympathetic, by no means equal to that of the trumpet, for which it is commonly substituted. ["cornet" entry in "Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia," 1902]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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