Definition of flute in English:

flute

noun

  • 1A wind instrument made from a tube with holes that are stopped by the fingers or keys, held vertically or horizontally (in which case it is also called a transverse flute) so that the player's breath strikes a narrow edge. The modern orchestral form is a transverse flute, typically made of metal, with an elaborate set of keys.

    • ‘Wooden flutes lay on top of an old-fashioned writing desk, and a lute leaned against a far wall.’
    • ‘We had people trying saxophone, cello, flutes, recorders, piano and all sorts.’
    • ‘Richard started playing music with his peers in high school and produced his first handmade flute at 17 which started him on his exploration into the wholeness of sound.’
    • ‘Music students ranging in ages from four to 18 took part in the protest and carried with them their instruments ranging from violins, cellos and clarinets to flutes and guitars.’
    • ‘The traditional Japanese flute weaved its soulful melody.’
    • ‘Drums and the flute were the musical instruments of the Indians before the Spanish conquest.’
    • ‘Some merchants have cassettes and CDs for sale, and more than a few offer handcrafted instruments, usually flutes made from wood or clay, but also more elaborate stringed instruments.’
    • ‘The traditional instruments are bagpipes, reed flutes, drums, and wind instruments.’
    • ‘Dances for these occasions were performed while wearing ankle bells and were accompanied by traditional instruments such as flutes, horns, and drums.’
    • ‘Two thirds of the children had some musical experience and those with orchestral skills played violins, clarinets, cellos, flutes and saxophones.’
    • ‘Using a variety of home-made instruments including bamboo flutes, the pupils performed a musical piece in the Minister's honour, based on sounds of the rainforest.’
    • ‘Ancient instruments used for court music include zithers, flutes, reed instruments, and percussion.’
    • ‘A wooden flute trills what sounds like an Eastern melody.’
    • ‘He is a multiple award-winning composer who has written numerous compositions for flute and other orchestra instruments.’
    • ‘It is foolish to try and figure out which is the most important instrument in an orchestra - the violin, the flute or the clarinet.’
    • ‘Trained listeners can not only distinguish between the different families of instruments but even recognize individual violins, flutes, clarinets, etc.’
    • ‘Reading the literature, one can hear fiddles, wood flutes, bagpipes, guitar, mandolins and bodhráns.’
    • ‘I can play an instrument, the flute, but if I could choose again it would have to be a piano, and I swear I'm going to learn the Ukelele by the time I go to Blackpool next year!’
    • ‘The satyr's hands are raised as if to play a flute, yet the instrument itself is not represented.’
    • ‘Over the next hour she will transport the children with Highland stories about seal folk and bad fairies and music from her collection of wooden and bamboo flutes.’
    whistle, penny whistle, flute, recorder, fife
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An organ stop with wooden or metal flue pipes producing a tone similar to that of a flute.
      • ‘After intermission, the musicians began gently with pieces featuring the organ's flute stops and a quartet of recorders.’
      • ‘In Petrusberg, South Africa, churchgoers voted not to get rid of a friend - a cobra who lived in the ceiling, always came out to listen when the organist played the organ's flute stops, fled back to its hole when the preaching started.’
      • ‘A colorful Swell Oboe and Vox Humana provide the organ with attractive solo voices; the latter adds a mystical contribution to the strings and flutes of the organ.’
  • 2Architecture
    An ornamental vertical groove in a column.

    • ‘The inscriber removed two of the column's flutes, so that five hexameters of verse could be carved upon the marble.’
    • ‘It was yellowish-brown, and it collected in the flutes of the column.’
    • ‘A more elaborate Doric capital of white marble, with flutes on the necking, is stored west of the building, to the west of the marble throne in room A.’
    • ‘The semielliptical fanlight over the entrance door is framed by a wooden arch neatly carved with flutes and stylized flowers.’
    • ‘This capital cannot be associated with the plain marble drum because of its size and the flutes on the necking.’
    1. 2.1 A trumpet-shaped frill on a dress or other garment.
      • ‘Whether it's flute hem, a-lines, or high-waisted pencils, we have the skirt for you.’
      • ‘The skirt has seven gores, the seams being concealed by rolling flutes which result from plaits underfolded below the hips.’
      • ‘Flute skirts emphasise the waist.’
      • ‘I am absolutely the modern day version of a dame with flute skirts and heels.’
      • ‘On this page look out for the dropped waist bodice, above knee skirt lengths that begin to hesitate and gain illusory length with the addition of flutes and frills.’
      ruffle, flounce, ruff, furbelow, jabot, peplum, ruche, ruching, gather, tuck, fringe
      View synonyms
  • 3A tall, narrow wine glass.

    ‘a flute of champagne’
    • ‘If you don't own cocktail glasses, champagne flutes are a good substitute.’
    • ‘Everything from plastic cups, empty beer bottles, used disposable coffee cups, to wine glasses and champagne flutes can be found at the exhibit.’
    • ‘The cupboards containing the champagne, bucket, and flutes have also been highlighted.’
    • ‘Inside, waiters were seen serving guests with flutes of champagne, while deliveries of sushi and presents were taken through the main entrance.’
    • ‘Newlyweds can pick either a starter set of Wedgewood china or a crystal set of eight wine goblets and champagne flutes from Waterford, with a retail value of $440.’
    • ‘Serve the champagne, preferably in flutes, filling each glass no more than halfway to allow the wine to breathe.’
    • ‘Her hand gently motions for David's still full flute.’
    • ‘Amid the hairspray bottles and eye-shadow palettes littering the tables lay overturned plastic champagne flutes.’
    • ‘His crystal champagne flute was smashed into several million pieces.’
    • ‘I began to take photographs of the food on the table, the champagne flutes towering behind the chocolate truffles that I was already dying to eat.’
    • ‘The champagne flute is tall and narrow to slow the loss of the CO2 bubbles, to keep it from going ‘flat’ for as long as possible.’
    • ‘What normally happens is they fall to the floor by accident with their champagne flutes in their hands and remain down there, flopping around, chatting and laughing hysterically for quite a bit of time.’
    • ‘Sparkling wines should be served in thick glasses with straight sides or flutes so that the fizz is preserved.’
    • ‘Bubbly was had with lunch in plastic champagne flutes.’
    • ‘We are soon surrounded by towels and vases and champagne flutes and all sorts of other gifts.’
    • ‘I picked up the champagne flutes, appreciating the finely cut crystal stems - they were so elegant.’
    • ‘Champagne is best served in a tall flute or tulip glasses.’
    • ‘Guests have been asked for eight sherry glasses, eight champagne flutes, eight whisky tumblers, eight brandy goblets and two decanters.’
    • ‘Not today, but sometime shortly, I will drink a flute of champagne to you Charlie and express the wish that you will be around for many more years to celebrate many more birthdays.’
    • ‘Now everyone's in a movie, or a TV show, drinking champagne out of long flutes on a Friday night.’

verb

  • 1literary no object Play a flute or pipe.

    • ‘When the corn began to grow the chief put up his altar, sang and fluted, but he did all that alone.’
    • ‘When he reached the river's edge, he came to a sharp halt, but his fingers fluted on, the instrument still tuneful.’
    play on a pipe
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Speak in a melodious way.
      ‘‘What do you do?’ she fluted’
      • ‘We could clearly hear the high fluting voice of Toni, and the calmer, flatter tones of Sid.’
      • ‘Her voice is particularly attractive: fluted and clear, kinder than the hard-edged Sloane of caricature and, most importantly, never sneering.’
      • ‘There are no melodramatic trills or fluting crescendos in her everyday speech.’
      • ‘"They are doing so much more work, preventing so much more illness, and treating patients much better!" she fluted.’
      • ‘In fluting, childish voices, they spoke of their compassion for the poor and homeless.’
  • 2with object Make flutes or grooves in.

    • ‘In some places both fingers from the roof and the floor had joined and formed columns, some fluted, some smooth, which glowed peach or filigree rose when the torchlight fell upon them.’
    • ‘Runoff from countless storms has worn the 50-to 60-foot-tall pink sandstone walls smooth, fluting some of its sections.’
    • ‘The new space was panelled throughout, and fluted Corinthian columns and pilasters were added.’
    • ‘Fluted columns supported the ceiling in two rows, like massive redwoods.’
    • ‘Neoclassical commodes, desks, and some chairs had fluted tapered legs reminiscent of upside-down obelisks.’
    • ‘In 1773-84 the whole church was remodelled in eighteenth - century taste, the columns of the choir were fluted, the apse and doors were finished in Louis XVI style.’
    • ‘Finally we were able to descend near to the seafloor, which was littered with fallen chimneys, each several feet in diameter and fluted like a column of a Greek temple.’
    • ‘The windows of this room-the most formal in the house-are framed at the sides and top by wood that has been fluted to resemble Greek columns.’
    • ‘A lovely wall of stone and brick layers and fluted coping stones, with yew above, brought us into the Roman town of Isurium, now Aldborough.’
    • ‘The smaller one is delicately fluted and covered in mosaic.’
    • ‘He began by adding a light Baroque facade with pilasters and massive fluted columns at the main, upper tier, topped by a balustrade with vases and statues.’
    • ‘A glaze highlights detailing in the ginger-stained doors and fluted columns.’
    • ‘You walk into the house on shiny wooden floors, topped by rounded skirtings and fluted ceiling with subtle, concealed lighting.’
    • ‘On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to form a thin circle or rectangle, place it on a lightly greased baking sheet or tin, and lip or flute the edge.’
    • ‘In all the caves they were surrounded by beautifully fluted and fretted columns whose pure white frosted surfaces shone out like beacons in the harsh magnesium light of their lanterns.’
    • ‘These are supported by small round-arched and fluted flying buttresses topped by figurines of scroll-bearing prophets.’
    • ‘"The rising white fluted columns supporting the two exquisite domes are special to that era, " he said.’
    • ‘The imposing entrance portico supported by six fluted Doric columns was probably the first exercise in classicism in Deadwood.’
    • ‘The large diameter rolls were fluted to give traction to the feed, and provided with a quick acting-lever operated mechanism for raising or lowering the rolls.’
    • ‘There were fluted columns on either side of the broad mahogany double-doors, and they were twined with ivy.’
    grooved, channelled, furrowed, ribbed, corrugated, ridged
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French flahute, probably from Provençal flaüt, perhaps a blend of flaujol ‘flageolet’ + laüt ‘lute’.

Pronunciation

flute

/fluːt/