noun, plural piccolos.
a small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary flute.

1855–60; < Italian: literally, small

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World English Dictionary
piccolo (ˈpɪkəˌləʊ)
n , pl -los
See flute a woodwind instrument, the smallest member of the flute family, lying an octave above that of the flute
[C19: from Italian: small; compare English petty, French petit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1856, from Fr. piccolo, from It. flauto piccolo "small flute," from piccolo "small," perhaps a children's made-up word or from picca "point," or perhaps from V.L. root *pikk- "little," related to *piccare "to pierce" (see pike (2)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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 Britannica


(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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Example sentences
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.
Images for piccolo
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