Definition of piccolo in English:



  • A small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary one.

    • ‘The flautist had four different flutes, from a piccolo to a bass flute with a curly bell at the end (lie a sax does…).’
    • ‘The original used a battery of flutes and piccolos.’
    • ‘Alicia was honored and put her piccolo in the small compartment in her flute case.’
    • ‘Similar woods are used for drums, clarinets, oboes and wooden flutes and piccolos.’
    • ‘The group, composed of four brilliant and accomplished musicians playing the guitar, mandolin, bagpipe, piccolo and violin, will bring their highly original sound to the stage.’
    • ‘Alice played a clear note on the flute, picked up the piccolo and tried it.’
    • ‘Nor is it all normal trumpets: this CD boasts piccolo trumpets, bass trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns, as well as a smattering of percussion.’
    • ‘She played saxophone, trumpet, French horn, flute, piano, piccolo, guitar and probably a number of other instruments that the rest of the group didn't know about it.’
    • ‘Two string quartets are utilized, as are a pair of French horns, piccolo, bassoon, basset horn, oboe and instruments usually associated with jazz.’
    • ‘This flute has its own piccolo, usually in E, an alto, and a tenor in B, a tone below the concert flute.’
    • ‘Featuring solo parts for horn, piccolo, and clarinet, this is the one movement in the work that thrives on poignancy and understatement.’
    • ‘In its original version for flutes and piccolos, the work is one of his most beguiling.’
    • ‘The triangle for once doesn't play as if afraid it will never be heard from again, while the piccolo stands out for its cleanliness of tone and brilliance.’
    • ‘She raised her flute at her eleventh measure of rest, her piccolo on the stand in front of her, and after eight more beats she began playing the music.’
    • ‘Because of his size he used a piccolo (which is a smaller version of the flute) so that his fingers could press all of the keys.’
    • ‘The first flutist must make quick changes between flute and piccolo.’
    • ‘Rising and falling intensity displays a wide range of instrumentation from soft woodwind to loud drumming against the brass and a shrill flute or piccolo, as well as horn calls.’
    • ‘It has developed into a full flute choir incorporating the entire flute range from piccolo to bass.’
    • ‘He plays the tune on his wooden flute, then a piccolo, and finally on a clarinet.’
    • ‘The tutti strangeness is that of an orchestra without violas and cellos, but in which double basses, contrabassoon and piccolos are prominent.’


Mid 19th century: from Italian, ‘small (flute)’.