[ klef ]
/ klɛf /

noun Music.

a symbol placed upon a staff to indicate the name and pitch of the notes corresponding to its lines and spaces.

Origin of clef

1570–80; < Middle French < Latin clāvis key Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clef

British Dictionary definitions for clef


/ (klɛf) /


one of several symbols placed on the left-hand side beginning of each stave indicating the pitch of the music written after itSee also alto clef, bass clef, C clef, soprano clef, tenor clef, treble clef

Word Origin for clef

C16: from French: key, clef, from Latin clāvis; related to Latin claudere to close
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