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woodwind

[woo d-wind]
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noun
  1. a musical wind instrument of the group comprising the flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and occasionally, the saxophones.
  2. woodwinds, the section of an orchestra or band comprising the woodwind instruments.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or composed of woodwinds.
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Origin of woodwind

First recorded in 1875–80; wood1 + wind3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for woodwinds

woodwind

adjective
  1. of, relating to, or denoting a type of wind instrument, excluding the brass instruments, formerly made of wood but now often made of metal, such as the flute or clarinet
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noun
  1. (functioning as plural) woodwind instruments collectively
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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 woodwinds

woodwind

n.

1876, from wood (n.) + wind (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

woodwinds in Culture

woodwinds

A group of wind instruments with a softer tone than that of brass instruments. Woodwind players do not set the air in their instruments in motion by blowing through their closed lips against a cup-shaped mouthpiece, as players of brass instruments do. In woodwinds, the players insert the mouthpiece into their mouths and blow while pressing their lips against a single or double reed. Bassoons, clarinets, oboes, and saxophones are played in this way. In other woodwinds, the player blows across a hole (fifes, flutes, and piccolos) or into a whistlelike mouthpiece (recorders).

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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.