follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

fife

[fahyf] /faɪf/
noun
1.
a high-pitched transverse flute used commonly in military and marching musical groups.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), fifed, fifing.
2.
to play on a fife.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < German Pfeife pipe1
Related forms
fifer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for fifer

fife

/faɪf/
noun
1.
a small high-pitched flute similar to the piccolo and usually having no keys, used esp in military bands
verb
2.
to play (music) on a fife
Derived Forms
fifer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old High German pfīfa; see pipe1

Fife1

/faɪf/
noun
1.
a council area and historical county of E central Scotland, bordering on the North Sea between the Firths of Tay and Forth: coastal lowlands in the north and east, with several ranges of hills; mainly agricultural. Administrative centre: Glenrothes. Pop: 352 040 (2003 est). Area: 1323 sq km (511 sq miles)

Fife2

/faɪf/
noun
1.
Duncan See Duncan Phyfe
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fifer

fife

n.

1550s, from German Pfeife "fife, pipe," from Old High German pfifa, or via Middle French fifre (15c.) from the same Old High German word; ultimately imitative. German musicians provided music for most European courts in those days. As a verb from 1590s. Agent noun fifer is recorded earlier (1530s). Fife and drum is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
fifer in Culture

fife definition


A small flute with a high, piercing tone, used mainly in military bands.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for fifer

fife

small transverse (side-blown) flute with six finger holes and a narrow cylindrical bore that produces a high pitch and shrill tone. The modern fife, pitched to the A above middle C, is about 15.5 inches (39 cm) long and often has an added E hole covered by a key. Its compass is about two octaves. Fifes of conical bore have also been made since the 19th century.

Learn more about fife with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fife

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fifer

11
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for fifer