from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A call on a trumpet or cornet signaling the ceremonial exits and entrances of actors in Elizabethan drama.
  • n. Any of several barracudas, especially Sphyraena borealis, of the western Atlantic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a signal call given on a cornet or trumpet, given for entrance on or exit from a theatrical stage
  • n. The barracuda.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A signal call on a trumpet or cornet for entrance or exit on the stage.
  • n. The barracuda.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A particular set of tones on a trumpet or cornet, different from a flourish. The word occurs chiefly in the stage directions of old plays.
  • n. Same as sennight.
  • n. The European barracuda.


Perhaps variant of signet.
Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably an alteration of the obsolete signet, 'signal'. (Wiktionary)



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  • Set of notes played on a trumpet signaling an approach or a departure.

    May 24, 2010

  • (A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS, crowned with an oaken garland; with CAPTAINS and Soldiers and a HERALD.)
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 28, 2009