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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ophicleide \Oph"i*cleide\, n. [F. ophicl['e]ide, fr. Gr. 'o`fis 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. It developed from the older wooden instrument called the serpent. --Moore (Encyc. of Music). [1913 Webster +PJC]