Oph"i*cleide (?), n. [F. ophicl'eide, fr. Gr. a serpent + , gen. , a key. So named because it was in effect the serpent, an old musical instrument, with keys added.] Mus.

A large brass wind instrument, formerly used in the orchestra and in military bands, having a loud tone, deep pitch, and a compass of three octaves; -- now generally supplanted by bass and contrabass tubas.

Moore (Encyc. of Music).


© Webster 1913.

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