1. A slender woodwind instrument with a conical bore and a double-reed mouthpiece, having a range of three octaves and a penetrating, poignant sound.
2. A reed stop in an organ that produces a sound similar to that of the oboe.
[Italian, from French hautbois; see HAUTBOY.]
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:
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