See more synonyms for trumpet on
  1. Music.
    1. any of a family of brass wind instruments with a powerful, penetrating tone, consisting of a tube commonly curved once or twice around on itself and having a cup-shaped mouthpiece at one end and a flaring bell at the other.
    2. an organ stop having a tone resembling that of a trumpet.
    3. a trumpeter.
  2. something used as or resembling a trumpet, especially in sound.
  3. a sound like that of a trumpet.
  4. the loud shrill cry of an animal, especially an elephant.
  5. ear trumpet.
  6. trumpets, any of several pitcher plants of the southeastern U.S.
verb (used without object)
  1. to blow a trumpet.
  2. to emit a loud, trumpetlike cry, as an elephant.
verb (used with object)
  1. to sound on a trumpet.
  2. to utter with a sound like that of a trumpet.
  3. to proclaim loudly or widely.

Origin of trumpet

1300–50; Middle English trumpette, trompette < French, equivalent to trompe trump2 + -ette -et
Related formstrum·pet·less, adjectivetrum·pet·like, adjectiveun·trum·pet·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trumpet

Contemporary Examples of trumpet

Historical Examples of trumpet

  • The preacher's voice rose until it sounded like a trumpet blast.

  • The man, full willing, put the trumpet to his lips and blew loud and long.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Ere Almamen could reply, a trumpet sounded clear and loud at the gate.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • I seized a moment of lassitude, gave every man a trumpet, and gained the day with this handful.


    Samuel Smiles

  • The trumpet marine is an instrument that pleases me and it's harmonious.

British Dictionary definitions for trumpet


  1. a valved brass instrument of brilliant tone consisting of a narrow tube of cylindrical bore ending in a flared bell, normally pitched in B flat. Range: two and a half octaves upwards from F sharp on the fourth line of the bass staff
  2. any instrument consisting of a valveless tube ending in a bell, esp a straight instrument used for fanfares, signals, etc
  3. a person who plays a trumpet in an orchestra
  4. a loud sound such as that of a trumpet, esp when made by an animalthe trumpet of the elephants
  5. an eight-foot reed stop on an organ
  6. something resembling a trumpet in shape, esp in having a flared bell
  7. short for ear trumpet
  8. blow one's own trumpet to boast about oneself; brag
verb -pets, -peting or -peted
  1. to proclaim or sound loudly
Derived Formstrumpet-like, adjective

Word Origin for trumpet

C13: from Old French trompette a little trump ²
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 trumpet

c.1300, from Old French trompette "trumpet," diminutive of trompe (see trump (n.2)). The verb is recorded from 1520s; figurative sense of "to proclaim, extol" is attested from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trumpet in Culture


A brass instrument with a brilliant tone, much used in classical music, as well as in military music and jazz.

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.