from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A slender woodwind instrument with a conical bore and a double-reed mouthpiece, having a range of three octaves and a penetrating, poignant sound.
- n. A reed stop in an organ that produces a sound similar to that of the oboe.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A soprano and melody wind instrument in the modern orchestra and wind ensemble. It is a smaller instrument and generally made of grendilla wood. It is a member of the double reed family.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the higher wind instruments in the modern orchestra, yet of great antiquity, having a penetrating pastoral quality of tone, somewhat like the clarinet in form, but more slender, and sounded by means of a double reed; a hautboy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An important musical instrument of the wood wind group, and the type of the family in which the tone is produced by a double reed.
- n. In organ-building, a reed-stop with metal pipes which give a penetrating and usually very effective oboe-like tone. It is usually placed in the swell organ.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a slender double-reed instrument; a woodwind with a conical bore and a double-reed mouthpiece
Italian, from French hautbois; see hautboy.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
An earlier form in English is hautboy, but the spelling oboe was adopted into English ca. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration in that language's orthography of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French word hautbois, a compound word made of haut ("high, loud") and bois ("wood, woodwind"). (Wiktionary)