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ac·​cor·​di·​on ə-ˈkȯr-dē-ən How to pronounce accordion (audio)
: a portable keyboard wind instrument in which the wind is forced past free reeds by means of a hand-operated bellows
accordionist noun

Illustration of accordion

Illustration of accordion


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: folding or creased or hinged to fold like an accordion
an accordion pleat
an accordion door

Examples of accordion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
To portray the Grammy award-winning musician, the actor grew a mustache, learned to play the accordion and prepared for his many shirtless scenes. Katie Mannion, Peoplemag, 4 Feb. 2024 Sandy plays the accordion, uses a Perkins Brailler to write, and shows off her collections of souvenir magnets from her travels and of noise-making clocks. Scott Krahn, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2024 Throughout the film, the director plays the audience like an accordion, pushing buttons and pulling and squeezing us into feeling things — disgust, ironic laughter, confusion, voyeuristic guilt, genuine curiosity — like a master. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 My grandmother sang, my uncles sang, my grandfather played the accordion. Christopher Barnard, Vogue, 22 Dec. 2023 His father played the accordion and concertina, and Mr. MacGowan was performing publicly at 3 after a family audition. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2023 Ana Del Castillo sings a style of Colombian folk called vallenato which utilizes accordion and is rooted in the Caribbean regions of Colombia. Thania Garcia, Variety, 14 Nov. 2023 Cumbia started after [Germans] brought accordions to South America, then mixed it with Indigenous music. Suzy Exposito, Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2023 Brass horn, acoustic guitar, and a punch of accordion notes spill out of a restaurant on a recent rainy evening in this bustling border city. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accordion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



borrowed from German Accordion (now Akkordeon), from Accord (now Akkord) "chord" (borrowed from French accord "chord, harmony, accord entry 2") + -ion (as in Melodion, an earlier keyboard instrument, from Melodie melody + -on, probably the Greek neuter noun ending)


derivative of accordion entry 1

First Known Use


1830, in the meaning defined above


1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accordion was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near accordion

Cite this Entry

“Accordion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ac·​cor·​di·​on ə-ˈkȯrd-ē-ən How to pronounce accordion (audio)
: a musical instrument that has a keyboard and a bellows and that produces tones when air is forced past metal reeds
accordionist noun


2 of 2 adjective
: creased to fold like an accordion
accordion doors

More from Merriam-Webster on accordion

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