trom·​bone träm-ˈbōn How to pronounce trombone (audio)
: a brass instrument consisting of a long cylindrical metal tube with two turns and having a movable slide or valves for varying the tone and a usual range one octave lower than that of the trumpet
träm-ˈbō-nist How to pronounce trombone (audio)

Illustration of trombone

Illustration of trombone

Examples of trombone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The wry tubas and trombones that accentuate the opening section. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 The three-song set highlights the elegance of live instruments such as a saxophone, trumpets, trombones, conga, and güira with charming musical arrangements, writes Billboard Español‘s Luisa Calle. Griselda Flores, Billboard, 9 Feb. 2024 Players will vibrate their lips to play the didgeridoo in a manner similar to lip valve instruments like trumpets or trombones, except those use a small mouthpiece attached to the instrument as an interface. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 29 Dec. 2023 Stylistically, the piece is charming, with everything from the retro look to the stiff walking animation, to Marge's actual trombone practice standing in for adults' voices evoking some autumnal nostalgia. Dennis Perkins,, 24 Nov. 2023 Big Easy trombone mainstay Delfeayo Marsalis — the brother of jazz greats Wynton and Branford Marsalis — will bring the celebration here. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Feb. 2024 Black smoke from firecrackers drifted across the blue sky, and the calm of the square outside the church was broken by the mournful martial thud of drums and the asthmatic hiss of trombones. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 While Metallica typically performs with a singer, two guitarists, a drummer and a bassist, Oakton’s band needed sheet music for more than a dozen marching band instruments, including trumpets, trombones, saxophones, tubas, flutes, and bass and snare drums. Kyle Melnick, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2024 The quirky bluegrass jaunt about the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt begins with a swell of angelic voices and a trombone. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Italian, augmentative of tromba trumpet, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German trumba, trumpa trumpet

First Known Use

circa 1724, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trombone was circa 1724

Dictionary Entries Near trombone

Cite this Entry

“Trombone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


trom·​bone träm-ˈbōn How to pronounce trombone (audio)
: a brass wind instrument with a section that can slide in and out to make different tones
trombonist noun

from Italian trombone, literally "large trumpet," from tromba "trumpet"

More from Merriam-Webster on trombone

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