Definition of celeste in English:



  • 1

    short for voix celeste
  • 2

    another term for celesta
    • ‘Not just the usual keyboards, guitars and mouth harp, but even the celeste gets a look in.’
    • ‘Though the evening was billed as a solo acoustic gig, the stage set-up looked more cluttered than a Radiohead show: six guitars, banjos, drum machines, a piano, Fender Rhodes, celeste and squeeze box.’
    • ‘Chicago's Town and Country are nothing if not unique: they only play acoustic instruments (bass clarinet, celeste and a glass of water are among those listed), never sing a word and perform entirely in the nude.’
    • ‘The pianist had grand piano, harmonium, honky-tonk piano and celeste, and the percussionist had a range of tuned and untuned percussion.’
    • ‘The lovely title track has a whiff of Ellington in its carefully paced atmospherics, with discreet touches of celeste colouring the long shadows cast by Peplowski's doleful clarinet.’
    • ‘It's all in his orchestration - not lots of strings and brass but celestes, prepared pianos, very early synthesisers.’
    • ‘So that was the deal I agreed to do, and I agreed to do the score and have a musical background, because United Film had a piano, an organ, and a celeste.’
    • ‘Riding on an insistent, rockish riff (in seven, you guessed it), it features beautifully agile solos from Dean, Beckett and Skidmore while Tippett's distant celeste adds extra colour.’
    • ‘String groupings of violins and cellos swell throughout and voice aching, mournful melodies, the piano occasionally joined by a celeste or glockenspiel.’
    • ‘Looking at the programme, the more unusual instruments included Alto Flute, Bass Flute, E flat clarinet, bass clarinet, contra bass clarinet, contra bassoon, Wagner Tubas, bass trombone, euphonium, pianino, celeste and cymbalom.’
    • ‘As the piece progresses, the gentle swell and ebb of harmonium and the pulse of fragmented walking bass seamlessly fades to a Feldman-esque cloud of harmonics from celeste and hand chimes.’
    • ‘Then I had spot mics on winds, spot mics on timpanis, on the four harps, celeste, horns, percussion and on all these different things that have to come through in that piece.’


Late 19th century: from French céleste ‘heavenly’, from Latin caelestis, from caelum ‘heaven’.