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[pik-uh-loh] /ˈpɪk əˌloʊ/
noun, plural piccolos.
a small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary flute.
1855-60; < Italian: literally, small Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for piccolo
  • We have also found the piccolo tubes chafing on the diffusers.
  • The piccolo is a small flute commonly used in western orchestras.
  • piccolo banjos are smaller, and tuned one octave above a standard banjo.
British Dictionary definitions for piccolo


noun (pl) -los
a woodwind instrument, the smallest member of the flute family, lying an octave above that of the flute See flute (sense 1)
Word Origin
C19: from Italian: small; compare English petty, French petit
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 piccolo

1856, piccolo flute, from French piccolo, from Italian flauto piccolo "small flute," from piccolo "small," perhaps a children's made-up word, or from picca "point," or from Vulgar Latin root *pikk- "little," related to *piccare "to pierce" (see pike (n.2)). Other sources suggest it is from the same source as French petit (see petit (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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piccolo in Culture
piccolo [(pik-uh-loh)]

A small, high-pitched flute.

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

(Italian: "small flute"), highest pitched woodwind instrument of orchestras and military bands. It is a small transverse (horizontally played) flute of conical or cylindrical bore, fitted with Boehm-system keywork and pitched an octave higher than the ordinary concert flute.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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