One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A shawm (wind instrument) of alto pitch, used in medieval bands and in Breton folk music.
- ‘The most popular Breton folk instruments are the biniou (a small bagpipe) and the bombarde, which is similar to an oboe.’
- ‘The biniou is usually heard in duet with a rustic shawm (the bombarde).’
2A powerful bass reed organ stop.
- ‘It is quite possible when used at full strength, to play a solo on the bombarde against the full great and swell coupled together.’
- ‘The Williams Organ has one manual keyboard each for the Bombarde, Swell, Great, and Choir organs and the manuals are referred to (from top to bottom) by those names.’
Late Middle English: from Old French, denoting a shawm (see bombard).
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