[kawr-net for 1; kawr-nit, kawr-net for 2–8]
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  1. Music. a valved wind instrument of the trumpet family.
  2. a small cone of paper twisted at the end and used for holding candy, nuts, etc.
  3. a pastry cone, usually filled with whipped cream.
  4. British. a conical wafer, as for ice cream; cone.
  5. a large, white, winged headdress formerly worn by the members of the Sisters of Charity.
  6. a woman's headdress, often cone-shaped, usually of delicate fabrics and having lappets of lace or other material, worn by women from the 14th to the 18th century.
  7. a pennant or flag used for signaling in a navy.
  8. (formerly) the officer who carried the colors in a troop of cavalry: the cornet of horse.

Origin of cornet

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to corn horn (< Latin cornū; see cornu) + -et -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cornet

trumpet, horn

Examples from the Web for cornet

Historical Examples of cornet

British Dictionary definitions for cornet


  1. Also called: cornet à pistons (ˈkɔːnɪt ə ˈpɪstənz, French kɔrnɛ a pistɔ̃) a three-valved brass instrument of the trumpet family. Written range: about two and a half octaves upwards from E below middle C. It is a transposing instrument in B flat or A
  2. a person who plays the cornet
  3. a variant spelling of cornett
  4. a cone-shaped paper container for sweets, etc
  5. British a cone-shaped wafer container for ice cream
  6. (formerly) the lowest rank of commissioned cavalry officer in the British army
  7. Southern African short for field cornet
  8. a starched and wired muslin or lace cap worn by women from the 12th to the 15th centuries
  9. the large white headdress of some nuns

Word Origin for cornet

C14: from Old French, from corn, from Latin cornū horn
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 cornet

c.1400, "A wind instrument made of wood and provided with six finger holes" [Middle English Dictionary], from Old French cornet (14c.) "a small horn," diminutive of corn "a horn," from Latin cornu "horn" (see horn (n.)). Modern use is short for cornet-à-pistons "cornet with pistons."

The quality of the tone is penetrating and unsympathetic, by no means equal to that of the trumpet, for which it is commonly substituted. ["cornet" entry in "Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia," 1902]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper