re·​cord·​er | \ ri-ˈkȯr-dər How to pronounce recorder (audio) \

Definition of recorder

1a : the chief judicial magistrate of some British cities and boroughs
b : a municipal judge with criminal jurisdiction of first instance and sometimes limited civil jurisdiction
2 : one that records
3 : any of a group of wind instruments ranging from soprano to bass that are characterized by a conical tube, a whistle mouthpiece, and eight finger holes

Illustration of recorder

Illustration of recorder

recorder 3

Examples of recorder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At one point, there was even a digital voice recorder, presumably marketed towards journalists, called the Scoopman. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "The brand that kicked off the portable music revolution is now a walking zombie," 3 July 2019 Comments between pilots and background noise from recorders sometimes helps investigators understand what went wrong. Jake Bleiberg And Jamie Stengle, USA TODAY, "Recorder found in Texas plane crash; some victims identified," 2 July 2019 If the boats stationed offshore aren’t able to recover all of the data recorders, then the orange, rectangular devices will float and carry with them email and phone contact information to be returned to NASA if someone finds them onshore. Chabeli Herrera,, "NASA will put its astronaut capsule through an intense abort test over Cocoa Beach Tuesday," 1 July 2019 By comparison, 69 percent of all agencies reported having dashboard cameras and 38 percent had personal audio recorders. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Fishers Police hope to have body cameras fully operational by early 2020," 26 June 2019 The Catherine Street Consort will play period music and country dance tunes using a full family of recorders, along with guitar and percussion. Baltimore Sun,, "Darlington kicks off Harford's Independence Day celebrations with parade, fireworks on June 29," 26 June 2019 The researchers reviewed long-term data from acoustic recorders and noted repeating sound patterns. Washington Post, "Scientists record singing by rare right whale for first time," 19 June 2019 That meant using everything from an old video recorder to an actual spaceship set with a cockpit, control panels, and even a ping pong room. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Joji Is Ready for Liftoff," 17 June 2019 Of the countywide offices not counting judges, Republicans only occupy the offices of recorder, treasurer, county engineer and prosecutor, all on the ballot in 2020. Scott Wartman,, "Republicans in Hamilton County trying to get a head start on 2020. It might already be too late," 16 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recorder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recorder

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for recorder

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for recorder

The first known use of recorder was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for recorder



English Language Learners Definition of recorder

: a device that records sounds or images or both so that they can be heard or seen again
: a musical instrument that is shaped like a tube with holes and that is played by blowing into the top of the tube
: a judge in some courts of law


re·​cord·​er | \ ri-ˈkȯr-dər How to pronounce recorder (audio) \

Kids Definition of recorder

1 : a person or device that records a digital video recorder
2 : a musical instrument like a long hollow whistle with eight holes for the fingers



Legal Definition of recorder

1 : a judge of a municipal court
2 : a public officer charged with making a record of writings or transactions (as conveyances) a recorder of deeds

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More from Merriam-Webster on recorder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recorder

Spanish Central: Translation of recorder

Nglish: Translation of recorder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recorder for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about recorder

Comments on recorder

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to complain fretfully

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