What does flute mean?

Definitions for flute

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word flute.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. flute, transverse flutenoun

    a high-pitched woodwind instrument; a slender tube closed at one end with finger holes on one end and an opening near the closed end across which the breath is blown

  2. flute, flute glass, champagne flutenoun

    a tall narrow wineglass

  3. flute, flutingverb

    a groove or furrow in cloth etc (particularly a shallow concave groove on the shaft of a column)

  4. fluteverb

    form flutes in


  1. flutenoun

    A woodwind instrument consisting of a metal, wood or bamboo tube with a row of circular holes and played by blowing across a hole in the side of one end or through a narrow channel at one end against a sharp edge, while covering none, some or all of the holes with the fingers to vary the note played.

  2. flutenoun

    A glass with a long, narrow bowl and a long stem, used for drinking wine, especially champagne.

  3. flutenoun

    A helical groove going up a drill bit which allows the drilled out material to come up out of the hole as it's drilled.

  4. flutenoun

    A semicylindrical vertical groove in a pillar, or a similar groove in a rifle barrel used to cut down the weight.

  5. fluteverb

    To play on a flute.

  6. fluteverb

    To make a flutelike sound.

  7. fluteverb

    To utter with a flutelike sound.

  8. fluteverb

    To form flutes or channels in (as in a column, a ruffle, etc.); to cut a semicylindrical vertical groove in (as in a pillar, etc.).

  9. Etymology: From fleüte

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FLUTEnoun

    Etymology: fluste, flute, French; fluyte, Dutch.

    Th’ oars were silver,
    Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleo.

    The soft complaining flute
    In dying notes discovers
    The woes of hopeless lovers,
    Whose dirge is whisper’d by the warbling lute. Dryden.

  2. To Fluteverb

    To cut columns into hollows.


  1. Flute

    The flute is a family of classical music instrument in the woodwind group. Like all woodwinds, flutes are aerophones, meaning they make sound by vibrating a column of air. However, unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is a reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute is called a flautist or flutist. Flutes are the earliest known identifiable musical instruments, as paleolithic examples with hand-bored holes have been found. A number of flutes dating to about 53,000 to 45,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. While the oldest flutes currently known were found in Europe, Asia, too, has a long history with the instrument that has continued into the present day. In China, a playable bone flute was discovered, dated approximately 9000 years old. The Americas also had an ancient flute culture, with instruments found in Caral, Peru, dating back 5000 years and in Labrador dating back approximately 7500 years.Historians have found the bamboo flute has a long history as well, especially in China and India. Flutes have been discovered in historical records and artworks starting in the Zhou dynasty. The oldest written sources reveal the Chinese were using the kuan (a reed instrument) and hsio (or xiao, an end-blown flute, often of bamboo) in the 12th–11th centuries BC, followed by the chi (or ch'ih) in the 9th century BC and the yüeh in the 8th century BC. Of these, the chi is the oldest documented cross flute or transverse flute, and was made from bamboo.The cross flute (Sanskrit: vāṃśī) was "the outstanding wind instrument of ancient India", according to Curt Sachs. He said that religious artwork depicting "celestial music" instruments was linked to music with an "aristocratic character". The Indian bamboo cross flute, Bansuri, was sacred to Krishna, and he is depicted in Hindu art with the instrument. In India, the cross flute appeared in reliefs from the 1st century AD at Sanchi and Amaravati from the 2nd–4th centuries AD.Although there had been flutes in Europe in prehistoric times, in more recent millennia the flute was absent from the continent until its arrival from Asia, by way of "North Africa, Hungary, and Bohemia", according to historian Alexander Buchner. The end-blown flute began to be seen in illustration in the 11th century. Transverse flutes entered Europe through Byzantium and were depicted in Greek art about 800 AD. The transverse flute had spread into Europe by way of Germany, and was known as the German flute.


  1. flute

    A flute is a wind instrument made from a tube with holes along it that are stopped either by the fingers or by pads controlled by keys. There are two types of flutes: the reedless, which produces sound through the flow of air across an opening, and the reed flute, which involves the use of a reed to generate sound. The player blows into one end and alters the pitch by opening or closing the holes with fingers, keys, or pads. The sound is usually soft, clear, and pure. It is often used in concert bands, symphony orchestras, and is also a solo instrument.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fluteverb

    a musical wind instrument, consisting of a hollow cylinder or pipe, with holes along its length, stopped by the fingers or by keys which are opened by the fingers. The modern flute is closed at the upper end, and blown with the mouth at a lateral hole

  2. Fluteverb

    a channel of curved section; -- usually applied to one of a vertical series of such channels used to decorate columns and pilasters in classical architecture. See Illust. under Base, n

  3. Flutenoun

    a similar channel or groove made in wood or other material, esp. in plaited cloth, as in a lady's ruffle

  4. Flutenoun

    a long French breakfast roll

  5. Flutenoun

    a stop in an organ, having a flutelike sound

  6. Flutenoun

    a kind of flyboat; a storeship

  7. Fluteverb

    to play on, or as on, a flute; to make a flutelike sound

  8. Fluteverb

    to play, whistle, or sing with a clear, soft note, like that of a flute

  9. Fluteverb

    to form flutes or channels in, as in a column, a ruffle, etc

  10. Etymology: [OE. flouten, floiten, OF. flater, fleter, flouster, F. flter, cf. D. fluiten; ascribed to an assumed LL. flautare, flatuare, fr. L. flatus a blowing, fr. flare to blow. Cf. Flout, Flageolet, Flatulent.]


  1. Flute

    The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or, less commonly, a fluter. The term flutenist, found in English up to the 18th century, is no longer used. Aside from the voice, flutes are the earliest known musical instruments. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Flute

    flōōt, n. a musical pipe with finger-holes and keys sounded by blowing: in organ-building, a stop with stopped wooden pipes, having a flute-like tone: one of a series of curved furrows, as on a pillar, called also Fluting: a tall and narrow wine-glass: a shuttle in tapestry-weaving, &c.—v.i. to play the flute.—v.t. to play or sing in soft flute-like tones: to form flutes or grooves in.—adj. Flut′ed, ornamented with flutes, channels, or grooves.—ns. Flut′er; Fluti′na (tē′-), a kind of accordion; Flut′ing-machine′, a machine for corrugating sheet-metal, also a wood-turning machine for forming twisted, spiral, and fluted balusters; Flut′ist.—adj. Flut′y, in tone like a flute. [O. Fr. fleüte; ety. dub.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. flute

    A pink-rigged fly-boat, the after-part of which is round-ribbed. Also, vessels only partly armed; as armed en flute.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. flute

    A wind instrument which is sometimes used in military bands, but never in service.

Editors Contribution

  1. flute

    A type of instrument created and designed in various colors, materials, shapes, sizes and styles to create music and sound

    There are a wide variety of flute and flute players that are blessed to have the ability and skills to play the flute and to bring such joy to the lives of others whilst doing so.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 12, 2016  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. FLUTE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Flute is ranked #53072 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Flute surname appeared 390 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Flute.

    62.5% or 244 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    17.6% or 69 total occurrences were Black.
    11.5% or 45 total occurrences were White.
    5.3% or 21 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce flute?

How to say flute in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of flute in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of flute in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of flute in a Sentence

  1. Amit Ray:

    On hearing the subtle unstruck sounds of Om, the mind goes to the state of perfect stillness and the bliss of infinity arises. The chakras and nadis create divine melodies like a heavenly flute.

  2. CaddyShack:

    The Zen philosopher, Basho, once wrote, 'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish'.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for flute

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"flute." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/flute>.

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