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A trumpet (sense 1).


From Middle English trumpet, trumpette, trompette (trumpet), from Old French trompette (trumpet), diminutive of trompe (horn, trump, trumpet), from Frankish *trumpa, *trumba (trumpet), ultimately imitative. Akin to Old High German trumpa, trumba (horn, trumpet), Middle Dutch tromme (drum), Middle Low German trumme (drum), Old Norse trumba (pipe; trumpet). More at drum.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹʌmpɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌmpɪt


trumpet (plural trumpets)

  1. (music) A musical instrument of the brass family, generally tuned to the key of B-flat; by extension, any type of lip-vibrated aerophone, most often valveless and not chromatic.
    • 1820, Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature[1], volume 20, 6th edition, Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Company, page 501:
      In trumpets for assisting the hearing, all reverbation of the trumpet must be avoided. It must be made thick, of the least elastic materials, and covered with cloth externally. For all reverbation lasts for a short time, and produces new sounds which mix with those which are coming in.
    The royal herald sounded a trumpet to announce their arrival.
  2. In an orchestra or other musical group, a musician who plays the trumpet.
    The trumpets were assigned to stand at the rear of the orchestra pit.
  3. The cry of an elephant, or any similar loud cry.
    The large bull gave a basso trumpet as he charged the hunters.
  4. (figuratively) One who praises, or propagates praise, or is the instrument of propagating it.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      That great politician was pleased to have the greatest wit of those times [] to be the trumpet of his praises.
  5. A funnel, or short flaring pipe, used as a guide or conductor, as for yarn in a knitting machine.
  6. A kind of traffic interchange involving at least one loop ramp connecting traffic either entering or leaving the terminating expressway with the far lanes of the continuous highway.
    • 1974, O.T.A., Proceedings (page 4)
      The result of adopting the latter principle would be that even unimportant T-junctions would be in the form of trumpets or half-cloverleaf junctions.
  7. A powerful reed stop in organs, having a trumpet-like sound.




Derived terms[edit]




trumpet (third-person singular simple present trumpets, present participle trumpeting, simple past and past participle trumpeted)

  1. (intransitive) To sound loudly, be amplified
    The music trumpeted from the speakers, hurting my ears.
  2. (intransitive) To play the trumpet.
    Cedric made a living trumpeting for the change of passersby in the subway.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) Of an elephant, to make its cry.
    The circus trainer cracked the whip, signaling the elephant to trumpet.
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To give a loud cry like that of an elephant.
    • 2017, Gerhard Gehrke, Nineveh's Child:
      The bird trumpeted a second time. Dinah listened to the echo die around her.
  5. (transitive) To proclaim loudly; to promote enthusiastically
    Andy trumpeted Jane's secret across the school, much to her embarrassment.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      They did nothing but publish and trumpet all the reproaches they could devise against the Irish.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Related terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old French trompette; equivalent to trumpe +‎ -et.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtrumpɛt/, /ˈtrumpit/


trumpet (plural trumpetes)

  1. A trumpet; a small brass instrument.
  2. One who uses or plays such an instrument.


  • English: trumpet
  • Scots: trumpet