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  1. a stringed musical instrument having a long, fretted neck and a hollow, typically pear-shaped body with a vaulted back.
verb (used without object), lut·ed, lut·ing.
  1. to play a lute.
verb (used with object), lut·ed, lut·ing.
  1. to perform (music) on a lute: a musician skilled at luting Elizabethan ballads.
  2. to express (a feeling, mood, etc.) by means of a lute: The minstrel eloquently luted his melancholy.

Origin of lute1

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French, Old French < Old Provençal laut < Arabic al ʿūd literally, the wood


  1. luting.
verb (used with object), lut·ed, lut·ing.
  1. to seal or cement with luting.

Origin of lute2

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin lutum, special use of Latin lutum mud, clay


  1. a paving tool for spreading and smoothing concrete, consisting of a straightedge mounted transversely on a long handle.
verb (used with object), lut·ed, lut·ing.
  1. to spread and smooth (concrete in a pavement) with a lute.

Origin of lute3

1870–75, Americanism; < Dutch loet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lute


  1. an ancient plucked stringed instrument, consisting of a long fingerboard with frets and gut strings, and a body shaped like a sliced pear

Word Origin

C14: from Old French lut, via Old Provençal from Arabic al `ūd, literally: the wood


  1. Also called: luting a mixture of cement and clay used to seal the joints between pipes, etc
  2. dentistry a thin layer of cement used to fix a crown or inlay in place on a tooth
  1. (tr) to seal (a joint or surface) with lute

Word Origin

C14: via Old French ultimately from Latin lutum clay
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

Word Origin and History for lute


stringed musical instrument, late 13c., from Old French lut, leut, from Old Provençal laut, from Arabic al-'ud, the Arabian lute, literally "the wood" (source of Spanish laud, Portuguese alaude, Italian liuto), where al is the definite article. A player is a lutist (1620s) or a lutanist (c.1600, from Medieval Latin hybrid lutanista).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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