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fife

[fahyf] /faɪf/
noun
1.
a high-pitched transverse flute used commonly in military and marching musical groups.
verb (used with or without object), fifed, fifing.
2.
to play on a fife.
Origin of fife
1540-1550
1540-50; < German Pfeife pipe1
Related forms
fifer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fifer
Historical Examples
  • It is my honourable friend (if he will allow me to call him so) the fifer.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • The fifer to the Lexington minute-men was sixteen years old.

  • The fifer, in revenge, declared he was only humbugging the Squire.

    Handy Andy, Volume One Samuel Lover
  • Questioned, what was the personal appearance and age of the said fifer.

    Records of The Spanish Inquisition Andrew Dickson White
  • Well, well, bring the drum, and order our fifer to come here.

    Good Stories For Great Holidays Frances Jenkins Olcott
  • Next the Admiral made our fifer to play a merry and peaceful air.

    1492 Mary Johnston
  • The said fifer spoke against the christian religion and Spain, and Estruch opposed him.

    Records of The Spanish Inquisition Andrew Dickson White
  • Faith, Miley, thou wouldst make a good little drummer or fifer!

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • And Im goin to hire a fifer and drummer to come and play in front of our house every mornin.

    Drum Taps in Dixie Delavan S. Miller
  • The fifer, the drummer, and the little boy should be good musicians playing patriotic music of the Revolution.

    America First

    Various
British Dictionary definitions for fifer

fife

/faɪf/
noun
1.
a small high-pitched flute similar to the piccolo and usually having no keys, used esp in military bands
verb
2.
to play (music) on a fife
Derived Forms
fifer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old High German pfīfa; see pipe1

Fife1

/faɪf/
noun
1.
a council area and historical county of E central Scotland, bordering on the North Sea between the Firths of Tay and Forth: coastal lowlands in the north and east, with several ranges of hills; mainly agricultural. Administrative centre: Glenrothes. Pop: 352 040 (2003 est). Area: 1323 sq km (511 sq miles)

Fife2

/faɪf/
noun
1.
Duncan See Duncan Phyfe
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 fifer

fife

n.

1550s, from German Pfeife "fife, pipe," from Old High German pfifa, or via Middle French fifre (15c.) from the same Old High German word; ultimately imitative. German musicians provided music for most European courts in those days. As a verb from 1590s. Agent noun fifer is recorded earlier (1530s). Fife and drum is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fifer in Culture

fife definition


A small flute with a high, piercing tone, used mainly in military bands.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Word Value for fifer

11
11
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