One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A valve in a wind instrument.
- ‘This facility imitates the ventils and may be used to quickly change the timbre of the sound to imitate the performance on two manuals.’
2A shutter for regulating the airflow in an organ.
- ‘Changes in registration by means similar to those provided by the older ventils were still possible, however.’
- ‘Langlais grimaced angrily, kicked open the ventils, leaned across as many keys as he could and almost blew the roof off.’
- ‘The treble and bass pipes chest ventils for a particular type of pipe voice are connected or coupled together.’
Late 19th century: from German, from Italian ventile, from medieval Latin ventile ‘sluice’, from Latin ventus ‘wind’.
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