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From French embouchure, from emboucher (to put in one’s mouth), from en- (in) + bouche (mouth), from Latin bucca (cheek).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌɒm.bʊˈʃʊə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɑm.bə.ʃɚ/, /ˌɑm.bəˈʃʊɹ/
  • (file)


embouchure (countable and uncountable, plural embouchures)

  1. (music) The use of the lips, facial muscles, tongue, and teeth when playing a wind instrument.
    • 1963, Thomas Pynchon, V.:
      you could see the twin lines running down from either side of his lower lip, etched in by the force of his embouchure, looking like extensions of his mustache.
  2. (archaic) The mouth of a river or valley.
    • 1857, Bayard Taylor, “Northern Travel: Summer and Winter Pictures”, in Prose Writings of Bayard Taylor, revised edition, New York: G. P. Putnam, published 1862, page 180:
      We approached Piteå at sunset. The view over the broad embouchure of the river, studded with islands, was quite picturesque, and the town itself, scattered along the shore and over the slopes of hills made a fair appearance.
    • 1885, Winfield Scott Schley, James Russell Soley, “The Gateway of the Polar Sea”, in The Rescue of Greely, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, page 6:
      Passing by Conical Rock, an isolated peak which forms a conspicuous landmark, the coast trends to the northward to Cape Dudley Digges and on to Cape Athol. Beyond Cape Athol lies Saunders Island, at the entrance to Wolstenholme Sound, which like most of these inlets, forms the embouchure of a glacier-river.




From emboucher +‎ -ure.



embouchure f (plural embouchures)

  1. mouthpiece (of a musical instrument)
  2. embouchure (of a wind instrument player)
  3. mouth (of a river)
    Antonym: source
    Hyponyms: delta, estuaire
  4. bit (horse controlling mechanism)

Further reading[edit]