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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Embouchure \Em`bou`chure"\, n. [F., fr. emboucher to put to the mouth; pref. em- (L. in) + bouche the mouth. Cf. Embouge, Debouch.]

  1. The mouth of a river; also, the mouth of a cannon.

  2. (Mus.)

    1. The mouthpiece of a wind instrument.

    2. The shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece; as, a flute player has a good embouchure.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1760, in musical sense "placement of the mouth on a wind instrument," from French embouchure "river mouth, mouth of a wind instrument," from assimilated form of en- "in" (see en- (1)) + bouche "mouth" (see bouche).


n. (context music English) The shape of the mouth and lips when playing a wind instrument.


n. the aperture of a wind instrument into which the player blows directly [syn: mouthpiece]


The embouchure is the use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece of woodwind instruments or the mouthpiece of the brass instruments.

The word is of French origin and is related to the root bouche (fr.), 'mouth'.

The proper embouchure allows the instrumentalist to play the instrument at its full range with a full, clear tone and without strain or damage to one's muscles.

Usage examples of "embouchure".

Our high hairless craniums manifest a superior evolutionary level, and our mouth folds pucker into a splendid embouchure for wind instruments.