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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

harmonica

[hahr-mon-i-kuh] /hɑrˈmɒn ɪ kə/
noun
1.
Also called mouth organ. a musical wind instrument consisting of a small rectangular case containing a set of metal reeds connected to a row of holes, over which the player places the mouth and exhales and inhales to produce the tones.
2.
any of various percussion instruments that use graduated bars of metal or other hard material as sounding elements.
Origin
noun use of feminine of Latin harmonicus harmonic; in the form armonica (< Italian < Latin) applied by Benjamin Franklin in 1762 to a set of musical glasses; later used of other instruments
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for harmonica
  • The two traded harmonica licks, drank red wine and played croquet.
  • Pay attention to this video and you'll learn how to play the harmonica.
  • However, many contemporary mariachis use nontraditional instruments such as the harmonica and accordion.
  • He also developed proficiency with the harmonica but was always a self-accompanied musician.
  • The five-piece set consists of a xylophone, tambourine, harmonica and two maracas.
British Dictionary definitions for harmonica

harmonica

/hɑːˈmɒnɪkə/
noun
1.
Also called mouth organ. a small wind instrument of the reed organ family in which reeds of graduated lengths set into a metal plate enclosed in a narrow oblong box are made to vibrate by blowing and sucking
Word Origin
C18: from Latin harmonicus relating to harmony
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for harmonica
n.

1762, coined by Ben Franklin as the name for a glass harmonica, from Latin fem. of harmonicus (see harmonic); modern sense of "mouth organ" is 1873, American English, earlier harmonicon (1825).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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16
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