vi·​bra·​phone | \ ˈvī-brə-ˌfōn How to pronounce vibraphone (audio) \

Definition of vibraphone

: a percussion instrument resembling the xylophone but having metal bars and motor-driven resonators for sustaining the tone and producing a vibrato

Illustration of vibraphone

Illustration of vibraphone

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Other Words from vibraphone

vibraphonist \ ˈvī-​brə-​ˌfō-​nist How to pronounce vibraphonist (audio) \ noun

Examples of vibraphone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The work featured timpani, vibraphone and a variety of more obscure instruments and percussive effects. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Michael Colgrass, composer who used humor and headstands to win listeners, dies at 87," 6 July 2019 The new album features more textures and flavors, including African, Middle Eastern and Indian influences, more keyboards and a wider array of instrument such as calabash, gourd banjo, four-mallet marimba, bowed vibraphone and more. Gary Graff, Billboard, "The Steel Wheels 'Keep On' Keeping On: Video Premiere," 11 June 2019 Weaving his present reality as a son of immigrants with childhood memories, Lange's vocals are stimulated by the power and warmth of keyboard pulsations and the subtle percussion of a vibraphone. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 3 June 2019 On Disc 7, the Gnostic Trio (harp, guitar, vibraphone) elevates and aerates Mr. Zorn’s cyclical compositions. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: Pearl Jam Kicks Up a Fury, and 9 More New Songs," 16 Mar. 2018 President Elizabeth Bohannon requested $5,000 for the purchase of an orchestral gong and a vibraphone, highlighting that some 275 students participate in band and orchestral classes. Sara Cardine,, "LCF City Council grants $353k in community group requests in 2018-19 budget," 27 June 2018 With gongs, crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, Native American flute, didgeridoo, Celtic Harp, monochord, vibraphone. San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 24 May 2018 To many people my age, vibraphone was for high school band practice. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Finding the Soundtrack to My Desert Life," 25 Apr. 2018 The music tested the technique of even an expert percussionist, containing difficult-to-negotiate vibraphone runs, a lengthy solo for chimes, and stretches whose instrumentation was left to the performer’s imagination. David Weininger,, "Category-defying music, left-wing stance in composer’s provocative piece," 6 June 2018

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

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vibraphone

Latin vibrare + International Scientific Vocabulary -phone

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Statistics for vibraphone

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for vibraphone

The first known use of vibraphone was in 1926

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More Definitions for vibraphone



English Language Learners Definition of vibraphone

: an electronic musical instrument which has metal bars that you hit with small wooden hammers to play notes and which has a motor that makes the notes vibrate

More from Merriam-Webster on vibraphone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vibraphone Encyclopedia article about vibraphone

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something desired as essential

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