Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woodwind instrument having a straight cylindrical tube with a flaring bell and a single-reed mouthpiece, played by means of finger holes and keys.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A musical windinstrument consisting of a mouthpiece containing a single beating reed, a cylindrical tube with 18 holes (9 to be closed by the fingers and 9 by keys), and a bell or flaring mouth.
  • noun In organ-building, a reed-stop imitating the tone of the clarinet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mus.) A wind instrument, blown by a single reed, of richer and fuller tone than the oboe, which has a double reed. It is the leading instrument in a military band.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A woodwind musical instrument that has a distinctive liquid tone whose characteristics vary among its three registers: chalumeau (low), clarion (medium), and altissimo (high).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a single-reed instrument with a straight tube

Etymologies

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

[French clarinette, feminine diminutive of Old French clarin, clarion, clarion; see clarion, or of Provençal clarin, oboe (from Old Provençal clar, clear, from Latin clārus; see clear).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Learned borrowing from Italian clarinetto diminutive of clarino ("trumpet") (as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet)

Examples

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