[ klar-uh-net ]
/ ˌklær əˈnɛt /
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a woodwind instrument in the form of a cylindrical tube with a single reed attached to its mouthpiece.



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Origin of clarinet

1790–1800; <French clarinette, equivalent to Old French clarinclarion + -ette-ette
clar·i·net·ist, clar·i·net·tist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for clarinet

/ (ˌklærɪˈnɛt) /

noun music

a keyed woodwind instrument with a cylindrical bore and a single reed. It is a transposing instrument, most commonly pitched in A or B flatObsolete name: clarionet (ˌklærɪəˈnɛt)
an orchestral musician who plays the clarinet
clarinettist or clarinetist, noun
C18: from French clarinette, probably from Italian clarinetto, from clarino trumpet
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

Cultural definitions for clarinet


A woodwind instrument, usually made of black wood or plastic, and played with a single reed. The clarinet has extensive use in Dixieland, jazz, and military music, as well as in classical music.

The most famous American clarinetist was Benny Goodman.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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