[ oh-boh ]
/ ˈoʊ boʊ /


a woodwind instrument having a slender conical, tubular body and a double-reed mouthpiece.
(in an organ) a reed stop with a sound like that of an oboe.
(a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter O.)



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Origin of oboe

1690–1700; < Italian < French hautbois, equivalent to haut high + bois wood; see hautboy

Definition for oboe (2 of 2)

[ oh-boh ]
/ ˈoʊ boʊ /

noun (sometimes initial capital letter)

a navigation system utilizing two radar ground stations that measure the distance to an aircraft and then radio the information to the aircraft.

Origin of oboe

First recorded in 1940–45; special use of oboe1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for oboe

British Dictionary definitions for oboe

/ (ˈəʊbəʊ) /


a woodwind instrument of the family that includes the bassoon and cor anglais, consisting of a conical tube fitted with a mouthpiece having a double reed. It has a penetrating nasal tone. Range: about two octaves plus a sixth upwards from B flat below middle C
a person who plays this instrument in an orchestrasecond oboe
Archaic form: hautboy

Derived forms of oboe

oboist, noun

Word Origin for oboe

C18: via Italian oboe, phonetic approximation to French haut bois, literally: high wood (referring to its pitch)
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 oboe


A woodwind instrument played with a double reed; similar to a bassoon, but pitched higher. Some describe its tone as nasal.

notes for oboe

The oboe appears frequently as a solo instrument in symphonies and other kinds of classical music.
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.