flute

[floot]
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noun
  1. a musical wind instrument consisting of a tube with a series of fingerholes or keys, in which the wind is directed against a sharp edge, either directly, as in the modern transverse flute, or through a flue, as in the recorder.
  2. an organ stop with wide flue pipes, having a flutelike tone.
  3. Architecture, Furniture. a channel, groove, or furrow, as on the shaft of a column.
  4. any groove or furrow, as in a ruffle of cloth or on a piecrust.
  5. one of the helical grooves of a twist drill.
  6. a slender, footed wineglass of the 17th century, having a tall, conical bowl.
  7. a similar stemmed glass, used especially for champagne.
verb (used without object), flut·ed, flut·ing.
  1. to produce flutelike sounds.
  2. to play on a flute.
  3. (of a metal strip or sheet) to kink or break in bending.
verb (used with object), flut·ed, flut·ing.
  1. to utter in flutelike tones.
  2. to form longitudinal flutes or furrows in: to flute a piecrust.

Origin of flute

1350–1400; Middle English floute < Middle French flaüte, flahute, fleüte < Old Provençal flaüt (perhaps alteration of flaujol, flauja) < Vulgar Latin *flabeolum. See flageolet, lute1
Related formsflute·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for flute

flute

noun
  1. a wind instrument consisting of an open cylindrical tube of wood or metal having holes in the side stopped either by the fingers or by pads controlled by keys. The breath is directed across a mouth hole cut in the side, causing the air in the tube to vibrate. Range: about three octaves upwards from middle C
  2. any pipe blown directly on the principle of a flue pipe, either by means of a mouth hole or through a fipple
  3. architect a rounded shallow concave groove on the shaft of a column, pilaster, etc
  4. a groove or furrow in cloth, etc
  5. a tall narrow wineglass
  6. anything shaped like a flute
verb
  1. to produce or utter (sounds) in the manner or tone of a flute
  2. (tr) to make grooves or furrows in
Derived Formsflutelike, adjectivefluty, adjective

Word Origin for flute

C14: from Old French flahute, via Old Provençal, from Vulgar Latin flabeolum (unattested); perhaps also influenced by Old Provençal laut lute; see flageolet
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 flute
n.

early 14c., from Old French flaute (12c.), from Old Provençal flaut, of uncertain origin, perhaps imitative or from Latin flare "to blow;" perhaps influenced by Provençal laut "lute." The other Germanic words (cf. German flöte) are likewise borrowings from French.

Ancient flutes were blown through a mouthpiece, like a recorder; the modern transverse or German flute developed 18c. The older style then sometimes were called flûte-a-bec (French, literally "flute with a beak"). The modern design and key system of the concert flute were perfected 1834 by Theobald Boehm. The architectural sense of "furrow in a pillar" (1650s) is from fancied resemblance to the inside of a flute split down the middle. Meaning "tall, slender wine glass" is from 1640s.

v.

late 14c., "to play upon the flute," from flute (n.). Meaning "to make (architectural) flutes" is from 1570s. Related: Fluted; fluting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

flute in Culture

flute

A high-pitched woodwind, held horizontally by the player and played by blowing across a hole.

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.