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flute (flt)
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n.
1. Music
a. A high-pitched woodwind instrument consisting of a slender tube closed at one end with keys and finger holes on the side and an opening near the closed end across which the breath is blown. Also called transverse flute.
b. Any of various similar reedless woodwind instruments, such as the recorder.
c. An organ stop whose flue pipe produces a flutelike tone.
2.
a. Architecture A long, usually rounded groove incised as a decorative motif on the shaft of a column, for example.
b. A similar groove or furrow, as in a pleated ruffle of cloth or on a piece of furniture.
3. A tall narrow wineglass, often used for champagne.
v. flut·ed, flut·ing, flutes
v.tr.
1. Music To play (a tune) on a flute.
2. To produce in a flutelike tone.
3. To make flutes in (a column, for example).
v.intr.
1. Music To play a flute.
2. To sing, whistle, or speak with a flutelike tone.

[Middle English floute, from Old French flaute, from Old Provençal flaüt, perhaps a blend of flaujol, flageolet (from Vulgar Latin *flābeolum; see FLAGEOLET) and laut, lute; see LUTE1.]

fluter n.
flutey, fluty adj.
(click for a larger image)
flute
musical instrument

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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