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[pik-uh-loh] /ˈpɪk əˌloʊ/
noun, plural piccolos.
a small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary flute.
Origin of piccolo
1855-60; < Italian: literally, small Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for piccolo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If you don't, make one up for yourself and call it 'The Isle of piccolo,' or something of that sort.

  • Get piccolo to hook the boat and take Pony to the reservation.

    The Flight of Pony Baker W. D. Howells
  • In Journalese, to perform upon a musical instrument; as, "He presided at the piccolo."

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • "To me it sounds like a cross between a clarinet, a flute, and a piccolo," he smiled.

    Frank Merriwell's Son Burt L. Standish
  • Then he opened the bag, in which were sections of a flute and a piccolo.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • Then suddenly the piccolo broke forth, wild, shrill, brilliant.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • He almost hated the little handbag he carried, which held his flute and piccolo.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • After Agatha's deep trumpet calls, he sounded like a solo on the piccolo.

    Marriage H. G. Wells
  • The piccolo is exactly an octave higher than the flute, excepting the two lowest notes of which it is deficient.

British Dictionary definitions for piccolo


noun (pl) -los
a woodwind instrument, the smallest member of the flute family, lying an octave above that of the flute See flute (sense 1)
Word Origin
C19: from Italian: small; compare English petty, French petit
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 piccolo

1856, piccolo flute, from French piccolo, from Italian flauto piccolo "small flute," from piccolo "small," perhaps a children's made-up word, or from picca "point," or from Vulgar Latin root *pikk- "little," related to *piccare "to pierce" (see pike (n.2)). Other sources suggest it is from the same source as French petit (see petit (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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piccolo in Culture
piccolo [(pik-uh-loh)]

A small, high-pitched flute.

The American Heritage® 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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