Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A curved wooden horn, sometimes as long as 6 meters (approximately 20 feet), used by herders in the Alps to call cows to pasture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of alphorn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A curved wooden horn about three feet long, with a cupped mouthpiece and a bell, used by the Swiss to sound the ranz des vaches and other melodies. Its notes are open harmonics of the tube.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A long, powerful horn, curving up and widening toward its extremity, formerly used on the Alps to convey signals and to sound the charge in battle, but now employed only by cowherds. Also called alp-horn.

Etymologies

German : Alpen, Alps + Horn, horn (from Middle High German, from Old High German.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • An alpenhorn-blowing sheep, made out of fun foam and cotton wool, dangled over one of the worktables.

    The Puppet Kitchen's Recipe for Success

  • The singing is accompanied by the blowing of an alpenhorn -- a long, curved wooden wind instrument with a distinctive, booming sound that was used by Swiss herders to call their cows from the pastures.

    Notice Me: Cutting Through the Marketing Clutter

  • Being in the political centre of power is like being handed a crack pipe the size of an alpenhorn.

    Firedoglake » Deborah Howell and Fred Hiatt: Fact Free and Loving It

  • On the last day of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, attendees gather for lunch on the hotel's terrace, serenaded by alpenhorn.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • Globokar's solo piece for alpenhorn and lit cigar.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Warren Buffett's only luxury, his 500 foot long hydrogen-powered alpenhorn?

    Every Day Should Be Saturday

  • On Sunday, May 9, Studio Cantilena will play a MotherĀ¹s Day program with Renaissance dances for a recorder ensemble, medieval two-part songs to the Virgin Mother and old Gregorian chants accompanied by crowth (an old Welsh fiddle), Tibetan singing bowls, and alpenhorn.

    Kootenay Rockies - News

  • Nicholson Baker, the lofty author of The Mezzanine, called it "an alpenhorn blast of post-Gutenbergian revalorisation".

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • It's the standard stop for busloads of visiting tourists and conventioneers, and tonight it's crammed with doctors dunking bread in pots of cheese and lining up for a chance to press their lips against the soggy mouthpiece of the 12-foot alpenhorn propped across the stage.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • As a small child enjoying the summer freshness in Csikszereda (Rumanian: Miercurea-Ciuc) in the Transylvanian mountains, he listened to the bucium, the Romanian alpenhorn.

    signandsight.com

Comments

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  • I've made an alpenlist for your alpenamusement.

    August 25, 2011

  • Alpentraum - my daydream of being in the mountains again. Could also be bergtraum. For want of an umlaut and laziness, I won't list the plurals of these words, which I fail to find in German dictionaries.

    August 31, 2009

  • What a great alpenstory!

    August 31, 2009

  • I was served "alpenbutter" when flying Lufthansa. I derived much amusement thereby.

    August 29, 2009

  • See?

    *sipping alpentea*

    January 29, 2009

  • I can't get back to work just yet--I need an alpencoffee break, and then perhaps a trip to the alpenrestroom.

    Hey! You're right!

    January 29, 2009

  • Sometimes I like to add "alpen-" to words just for fun. Everything sounds more exotic that way.

    I have to get back to alpenwork now.

    January 28, 2009

  • Busch Gardens has a roller coaster called Alpengeist. Which I will now always confuse with alpenhorn.

    January 28, 2009

  • Riiiiii-co-laaaaaaaaa!

    January 28, 2009