pho·​no·​graph ˈfō-nə-ˌgraf How to pronounce phonograph (audio)
: an instrument for reproducing sounds by means of the vibration of a stylus or needle following a spiral groove on a revolving disc or cylinder

Examples of phonograph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Egyptian star Mona Zaki will play Kulthum who from the late 1920s onwards became the first prominent Arab singer to disseminate her work to the masses via the new technologies of the times: radio, the phonograph, cinema and television. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 19 Feb. 2024 Instead, they were encoded in the grooves of a phonograph record bound inside the magazine. IEEE Spectrum, 7 Nov. 2022 One number takes place on a giant phonograph, another segues into a black-and-white fantasy that becomes, in effect, a movie musical within a movie musical. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 23 Dec. 2023 First captured in a painting in 1899, Nipper is the dog in the old RCA logo, the one listening to a windup cylinder phonograph. WIRED, 17 Nov. 2023 Radio stations were using phonograph recordings to displace live orchestras, juke boxes were crowding out club performers, and talkies put an end to silent film accompanists. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 21 Sep. 2023 Three of the sculptures feature light-up displays: Edison's lightbulb and phonograph and Garrett Morgan's traffic light. Annasofia Scheve, The Enquirer, 25 July 2023 Each spacecraft carries a golden record: a phonograph that includes greetings from languages around the world and a host of musical excerpts. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2023 Both Voyagers carry a golden record, a phonograph record that contains sounds and images intended to communicate information about life on Earth to extraterrestrials. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Aug. 2023

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

Word History


phono- + -graph

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phonograph was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near phonograph

Cite this Entry

“Phonograph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pho·​no·​graph ˈfō-nə-ˌgraf How to pronounce phonograph (audio)
: an instrument that reproduces sound recorded on a grooved disk

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