[ey-tood, ey-tyood, ey-tood, ey-tyood; French ey-tyd]

noun, plural é·tudes [ey-toodz, ey-tyoodz, ey-toodz, ey-tyoodz; French ey-tyd] /ˈeɪ tudz, ˈeɪ tyudz, eɪˈtudz, eɪˈtyudz; French eɪˈtüd/.

a musical composition, usually instrumental, intended mainly for the practice of some point of technique.

Origin of étude

From French, dating back to 1830–40; see origin at study
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for etude

Historical Examples of etude

  • His "Gradus ad Parnassum" became the parent of Etude literature.

    For Every Music Lover

    Aubertine Woodward Moore

  • Etude sur l'Espece a l'occasion d'une revision de la Famille des Cupuliferes.

  • Etude sur les lettres, les arts et lindustrie pendant le quinzime sicle, vol.

    The Story of Bruges

    Ernest Gilliat-Smith

  • Konstantin Diomiditch took his seat at the piano, and played the etude very fairly well.


    Ivan Turgenev

  • Opus 10, No. 5, is the "Black Key" etude, so called because all the notes of the right hand are on black keys.

    The Pianolist

    Gustav Kobb

British Dictionary definitions for etude



a short musical composition for a solo instrument, esp one designed as an exercise or exploiting technical virtuosity

Word Origin for étude

C19: from French: study
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 etude

1837, from French étude, literally "study," from Old French estudie (12c.), from Latin studium (see study). Popularized in English by the etudes of Chopin (1810-1849).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper