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[doo-et, dyoo-] /duˈɛt, dyu-/
a musical composition for two voices or instruments.
Origin of duet
1730-40; earlier duett < Italian duetto, equivalent to du(o) duet + -etto -et
Related forms
duettist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for duet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She listened with keen and critical enjoyment, recalling how Malibran gave this note, how Grisi and Mario sang that duet.

    Julia Ward Howe Laura E. Richards
  • If you like that kind of music, you should hear their duet about breakfast time.

    Reels and Spindles Evelyn Raymond
  • Musical readers will remember that melody and accompaniment are used again in the duet Sonata in G major.

  • There had been some singing, and Lieutenant Leigh had gone off in the middle of a duet.

    Begumbagh George Manville Fenn
  • The climax of the performance was to be a duet, to be sung by the great Roger and a diva who was past her youth.

British Dictionary definitions for duet


Also called (esp for instrumental compositions) duo. a musical composition for two performers or voices
an action or activity performed by a pair of closely connected individuals
verb duets, duetting, duetted
(intransitive) to perform a duet
Derived Forms
duettist, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Italian duetto a little duet, from duo duet, from Latin: two
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for duet

1740, from French duet, from Italian duetto "short musical composition for two voices," diminutive of duo "two" (see two). As a verb, from 1822. The Italian form of the noun was used in English from c.1724.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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