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

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 Band members include Doug Kinler on guitar, Lenny DiMartino on bass, Kurt Brunus on keyboard, tenor vocals and trumpet, Raymond Weber on drums and vocals, Steve Burke on saxophone and vocals and Thomassie. Ann Benoit,, "Taste of Covington takes guests on world tour of food and spirits," 6 May 2018 Also worth noting that indie singer Ani DiFranco appeared on the album, along with Parker on saxophone and songs with Gwen Stefani, Sheryl Crow, Chuck D and Eve. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "The 7 Coolest Things We Found on the Prince Estate Website," 23 Apr. 2018 Band alumnus Fred Hendricks still plays the flute, clarinet and saxophone in local Baltimore area community bands. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "The crowd went wild when the Newsboy Band played," 12 Jan. 2018 Big Gigantic's saxophone line lends an air of the spy to the tune, while Collie Buddz provides Bermudian flair. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Snails, Big Gigantic & Collie Buddz 'Feel the Vibe' of Inspiration: Watch," 10 July 2018 Similarly, Bad Luck is a tenor-drums duo steeped in drone-y saxophone melodies, virtuosic drum soliloquys, and plays with pedals and effects. Alexa Peters, The Seattle Times, "‘This is cool music’: A younger crew of Seattle jazz-informed musicians bend genres, creating their own sound," 9 July 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

26 Sep 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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Comments on saxophone

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one that holds something together

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