from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small, high-pitched, transverse flute used primarily to accompany drums in a military or marching band.
- intransitive v. To play a fife.
- transitive v. To perform (a piece or tune) on or as if on a fife.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small shrill pipe, resembling the piccolo flute, used chiefly to accompany the drum in military music
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A small shrill pipe, resembling the piccolo flute, used chiefly to accompany the drum in military music.
- intransitive v. To play on a fife.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musical instrument of the flute class, usually having a compass of about two octaves upward from the second D above the middle C; a piccolo, or a flute of still higher pitch: much used in military music, particularly with drums.
- To play the fife, or to execute on a fife: as, to fife in a band; to fife a tune.
- n. In organ-building, a piccolo stop.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a small high-pitched flute similar to a piccolo; has a shrill tone and is used chiefly to accompany drums in a marching band
Probably German Pfeife, from Middle High German pfīfe, from Old High German pfīffa, from Vulgar Latin *pīpa, from Latin pīpāre, to chirp.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)