- a musical wind instrument, a development of the old wooden serpent, consisting of a conical metal tube bent double.
Origin of ophicleide
1825–35; < French ophicléide < Greek óphi(s) serpent + kleid- (stem of kleís) key (akin to Latin clavis; see clavicle)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ophicleide
Neither saxophone nor ophicleide was necessary for him to fill the soul with awe.The Pianolist
Those who played the trombone and the ophicleide blew till their thick lips swelled, and seemed to cover up the mouthpieces.Brought Forward
R. B. Cunninghame Graham
Originally these tones were played by the Ophicleide or Serpent (now obsolete).Music: An Art and a Language
Walter Raymond Spalding
Ophicleide, of′i-klīd, n. a large bass trumpet, with a deep pitch.
The application of keys to the bugle produced the Kent bugle, and later the ophicleide.
- music an obsolete keyed wind instrument of bass pitch
C19: from French ophiclēide, from Greek ophis snake + kleis key