sax·​o·​phone | \ ˈsak-sə-ˌfōn How to pronounce saxophone (audio) \

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 How to pronounce saxophonic (audio) , -​ˈfä-​ \ adjective
saxophonist \ ˈsak-​sə-​ˌfō-​nist How to pronounce saxophonist (audio) , especially British  sak-​ˈsä-​fə-​ \ noun

Examples of saxophone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Members of the public across Britain joined in on myriad instruments — from violin and viola to saxophone, trombone and tuba — and posted footage of their performances on social media using the hashtag #NYOdetoJoy. USA TODAY, "United Kingdom youth orchestra plays ‘Ode to Joy’ alone but together amid COVID-19 pandemic," 19 Apr. 2020 The instrumental rockers still pack a punch through core musical ingredients, including electric guitar, bass, drums and saxophone, to produce otherworldly polyrhythms. Washington Post, "12 things to do in the D.C. area this weekend," 12 Mar. 2020 Namely, his ability to perform with equal skill on alto, soprano and baritone saxophones, oboe, flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and English horn. San Diego Union-Tribune, "11 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Blues festival, ‘Kiss My Aztec!,’ Brian Wilson and The Zombies," 6 Sep. 2019 At first his role was simply to play bass lines on the baritone saxophone, as the group had recently lost its bassist and already had a capable baritone player in Pat Patrick. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Danny Ray Thompson, 72, Dies; Mainstay of Sun Ra’s Otherworldly Band," 20 Mar. 2020 The Jazz Kitchen will welcome smooth-jazz saxophone player Kim Waters to its stage for four performances across two nights. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "13 romantic things to do on Valentine's Day for every mood and couple," 5 Feb. 2020 Her mother told her that the twins ask to watch a video of their dad, a musician, playing the saxophone each night before bed. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "“Most brutal thing I’ve been through”: Alabama millennials talk about surviving coronavirus," 10 Apr. 2020 The baby watches his grandparents on the screen, looking up from his own games to smile and laugh at his grandpa or focus on his grandmother playing the saxophone. Lindsay Whitehurst, USA TODAY, "In a crisis 'you want to be with people you love, and we can't.' Grandparenting goes digital.," 31 Mar. 2020 Aaron McAfee of Detroit plays the saxophone outside of Comerica Park before the start of Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers on Friday April 8, 2016 at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. Brian Kaufman,, "Detroit Tigers' Opening Day put on pause by coronavirus pandemic," 30 Mar. 2020

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-Joseph (or Adolphe) Sax †1894 Belgian instrument maker + French -phone

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Time Traveler for saxophone

Time Traveler

The first known use of saxophone was in 1851

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Statistics for saxophone

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Saxophone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for saxophone


How to pronounce saxophone (audio)

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 How to pronounce saxophone (audio) \

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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