Definition of flute in English:

flute

noun

  • 1A wind instrument made from a tube with holes along it that are stopped by the fingers or keys, held vertically or horizontally so that the player's breath strikes a narrow edge. The modern orchestral form, typically made of metal, is held horizontally and has an elaborate set of keys.

    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Trained listeners can not only distinguish between the different families of instruments but even recognize individual violins, flutes, clarinets, etc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wooden flutes lay on top of an old-fashioned writing desk, and a lute leaned against a far wall.’
    • ‘Dances for these occasions were performed while wearing ankle bells and were accompanied by traditional instruments such as flutes, horns, and drums.’
    • ‘It is foolish to try and figure out which is the most important instrument in an orchestra - the violin, the flute or the clarinet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The traditional instruments are bagpipes, reed flutes, drums, and wind instruments.’
    • ‘The satyr's hands are raised as if to play a flute, yet the instrument itself is not represented.’
    • ‘Two thirds of the children had some musical experience and those with orchestral skills played violins, clarinets, cellos, flutes and saxophones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Drums and the flute were the musical instruments of the Indians before the Spanish conquest.’
    • ‘The traditional Japanese flute weaved its soulful melody.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Reading the literature, one can hear fiddles, wood flutes, bagpipes, guitar, mandolins and bodhráns.’
    • ‘Ancient instruments used for court music include zithers, flutes, reed instruments, and percussion.’
    • ‘We had people trying saxophone, cello, flutes, recorders, piano and all sorts.’
    whistle, penny whistle, flute, recorder, fife
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    1. 1.1 An organ stop with wooden or metal flue pipes producing a similar tone.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After intermission, the musicians began gently with pieces featuring the organ's flute stops and a quartet of recorders.’
  • 2Architecture
    An ornamental vertical groove in a column.

    • ‘The semielliptical fanlight over the entrance door is framed by a wooden arch neatly carved with flutes and stylized flowers.’
    • ‘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 inscriber removed two of the column's flutes, so that five hexameters of verse could be carved upon the marble.’
    • ‘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.
      • ‘The skirt has seven gores, the seams being concealed by rolling flutes which result from plaits underfolded below the hips.’
      • ‘Whether it's flute hem, a-lines, or high-waisted pencils, we have the skirt for you.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am absolutely the modern day version of a dame with flute skirts and heels.’
      • ‘Flute skirts emphasise the waist.’
      ruffle, flounce, ruff, furbelow, jabot, peplum, flute, ruche, ruching, gather, tuck, fringe
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    2. 2.2 A cylindrical groove, as on pastry.
      • ‘If your fingertips can take heat, the flutes may be reshaped after about 3 minutes of baking.’
      • ‘Finish the edges as you like - I like to do flutes, but I warn you that high, dramatic flutes as pictured will droop in the oven, because lard crusts just are too soft for big flutes like that.’
      • ‘In addition, they show well-marked bottom-structures, which have not been described from modern deposits, such as groove and flute casts on their undersides.’
      • ‘Press the pastry into flutes again with the fingers.’
      • ‘Perez-Estaun described typical turbiditic sedimentary structures such as groove and flute casts and prod marks, as well as trace fossils in the pelites.’
  • 3A tall, narrow wine glass.

    ‘a flute of champagne’
    • ‘I picked up the champagne flutes, appreciating the finely cut crystal stems - they were so elegant.’
    • ‘Serve the champagne, preferably in flutes, filling each glass no more than halfway to allow the wine to breathe.’
    • ‘Now everyone's in a movie, or a TV show, drinking champagne out of long flutes on a Friday night.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cupboards containing the champagne, bucket, and flutes have also been highlighted.’
    • ‘Bubbly was had with lunch in plastic champagne flutes.’
    • ‘Her hand gently motions for David's still full flute.’
    • ‘Inside, waiters were seen serving guests with flutes of champagne, while deliveries of sushi and presents were taken through the main entrance.’
    • ‘If you don't own cocktail glasses, champagne flutes are a good substitute.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are soon surrounded by towels and vases and champagne flutes and all sorts of other gifts.’
    • ‘Everything from plastic cups, empty beer bottles, used disposable coffee cups, to wine glasses and champagne flutes can be found at the exhibit.’

verb

  • 1[with direct speech] Speak in a melodious way reminiscent of the sound of a flute.

    ‘“What do you do?” she fluted’
    • ‘There are no melodramatic trills or fluting crescendos in her everyday speech.’
    • ‘Her voice is particularly attractive: fluted and clear, kinder than the hard-edged Sloane of caricature and, most importantly, never sneering.’
    • ‘"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.’
    • ‘We could clearly hear the high fluting voice of Toni, and the calmer, flatter tones of Sid.’
    1. 1.1literary [no object] Play, or seem to play, a flute or pipe.
      ‘to him who sat upon the rocks, and fluted to the morning sea’
      [with object] ‘some swan fluting a wild carol’
      • ‘When he reached the river's edge, he came to a sharp halt, but his fingers fluted on, the instrument still tuneful.’
      • ‘When the corn began to grow the chief put up his altar, sang and fluted, but he did all that alone.’
  • 2often as adjective fluted[with object] Make flutes or grooves in.

    ‘fluted columns’
    • ‘"The rising white fluted columns supporting the two exquisite domes are special to that era, " he said.’
    • ‘There were fluted columns on either side of the broad mahogany double-doors, and they were twined with ivy.’
    • ‘Neoclassical commodes, desks, and some chairs had fluted tapered legs reminiscent of upside-down obelisks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fluted columns supported the ceiling in two rows, like massive redwoods.’
    • ‘The smaller one is delicately fluted and covered in mosaic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You walk into the house on shiny wooden floors, topped by rounded skirtings and fluted ceiling with subtle, concealed lighting.’
    • ‘These are supported by small round-arched and fluted flying buttresses topped by figurines of scroll-bearing prophets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The new space was panelled throughout, and fluted Corinthian columns and pilasters were added.’
    • ‘Runoff from countless storms has worn the 50-to 60-foot-tall pink sandstone walls smooth, fluting some of its sections.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The imposing entrance portico supported by six fluted Doric columns was probably the first exercise in classicism in Deadwood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    grooved, channelled, furrowed, ribbed, corrugated, ridged
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Make trumpet-shaped frills on (a garment)
      ‘a fluted collar’
      • ‘The small card at the foot of the mannequin told her that the skirt was made of duchess satin while the bodice was overlaid with soft cotton lace, and she could easily see the scalloped neckline and fluted sleeves.’
      • ‘Flared skirts with an organic feel that swept like an opening bell flower form, just like the art nouveau styling of La Belle Époque of 1900, vied with fluid trousers and fluted coats all emphasising a nipped in waist.’
      • ‘The fantastic new knee-length fluted skirts, featured this season in flowing chiffon, look heavenly on women with good legs and waists.’
      • ‘It is matched with a cozy rhinestone-link mink vest with attached fluted sleeves.’
      • ‘This theme of heightened elegance was carried over into the fall collection with the fluted jersey gown (this time in violet) leading the charge.’
      • ‘Ruffle necklines are big too, as well as fluted sleeves, hem flounces and ruched side panels.’
      • ‘Miranda's cream dress consisted of a strapless bodice with fluted skirt, suggestive of both a South Sea Islander and a nymph, not yet tainted by civilisation.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

flute

/flo͞ot/