sax·​o·​phone | \ˈsak-sə-ˌfōn \

Definition of saxophone 

: one of a group of single-reed woodwind instruments usually ranging from soprano to bass and characterized by a conical metal tube and finger keys

Illustration of saxophone

Illustration of saxophone

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Other Words from saxophone

saxophonic \ˌsak-​sə-​ˈfō-​nik, -​ˈfä-​ \ adjective
saxophonist \ˈsak-​sə-​ˌfō-​nist, especially British sak-​ˈsä-​fə-​ \ noun

Examples of saxophone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some of Rock’s most iconic photographs of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust line the walls, like the unforgettable image of him clutching a saxophone against a red backdrop, all eye-popping orange hair and electric blue eyeshadow. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Story Behind Ziggy’s, London’s New David Bowie–Themed Bar," 24 Sep. 2018 And there are confetti guns and a bonus confetti-spewing saxophone to prove it. Aja Romano, Vox, "Do you remember the very best meme of September?," 21 Sep. 2018 Steve Lehman, on alto saxophone, was a picture of total command — rhythmically goading the rest of the band and pulling the drummer Craig Weinrib into a bodily exchange. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "March in Live Jazz: 5 Standout Shows," 30 Mar. 2018 Gibson’s ad campaign improbably said the device would make guitars sound like saxophones and orchestra strings. Terence Mcardle, Washington Post, "Glenn Snoddy, Nashville engineer who brought ‘fuzz tone’ to rock, dies at 96," 30 May 2018 Dazzling solos dot these tracks—especially from Messrs. Valera and Apfelbaum, and from Michael Thomas, who plays saxophones and piccolo—yet these are all concise, and tightly wrapped in compositional context. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Back to the Sunset’ Review: A Cuban Drummer Realizes His Grandest Dream," 2 Apr. 2018 Prince’s version, released today, is less power ballad, more melancholy slow dance, with a slightly faster beat, guitar licks, and a killer saxophone solo. Bridget Read, Vogue, "In a Brand-New “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a 1984 Prince Original Is Remastered for 2018," 19 Apr. 2018 Zorn’s saxophone and Laswell’s bass are elemental forces — like lightning and thunder — visceral, tangible and looking to touch a nerve. Joshua Zucker,, "John Zorn and Bill Laswell make rare duo appearance at the Chapel," 11 July 2018 Daniel Trombley Ingram was born into a musical family in 1934 in Oceanside, N.Y. His father, John, played saxophone and flute for big bands, and his mother, Dorothy (Trombley) Ingram, was a cellist who led a chamber-music group, the Trombley Trio. Richard Sandomir,, "Dan Ingram, irreverent NYC disc jockey, is dead at 83," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saxophone.' 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 saxophone

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for saxophone

French, from Antoine Sax †1894 Belgian instrument maker + French -phone

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Dictionary Entries near saxophone



saxony green




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Statistics for saxophone

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for saxophone

The first known use of saxophone was in 1851

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More Definitions for saxophone



English Language Learners Definition of saxophone

: a musical instrument that has a curved metal tube and that is played by blowing into a mouthpiece and pressing keys with your fingers


sax·​o·​phone | \ˈsak-sə-ˌfōn \

Kids Definition of saxophone

: a woodwind instrument usually in the form of a curved metal tube with keys used to change pitch and a mouthpiece with a single reed

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More from Merriam-Webster on saxophone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saxophone

Spanish Central: Translation of saxophone

Nglish: Translation of saxophone for Spanish Speakers

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

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to enclose within walls

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