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or claxon

[klak-suh n] /ˈklæk sən/
a loud electric horn, formerly used on automobiles, trucks, etc., and now often used as a warning signal.
Origin of klaxon
1905-10, Americanism; formerly trademark Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for klaxon
Historical Examples
  • A klaxon was sounding, and warning lights flashed from the landing slot, to warn ships away from an attempted landing.

    Final Weapon Everett B. Cole
  • We'd both run from that spot in the Tenderloin as the klaxon sounded behind us, and we'd both been picked up by the cops.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • Before he spoke, Jack pressed the button that actuated the klaxon.

    Boy Scouts in Southern Waters G. Harvey Ralphson
  • Old Swainson answered on his klaxon, and then the liner began to move slowly over the glittering water.

    The Air Pirate Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • Among the writers who have established stable reputations for themselves during the War "klaxon" is in the very front rank.

  • Also we used the mellow horn, for our book said that horns of the klaxon type are not allowed in Switzerland.

    The Car That Went Abroad Albert Bigelow Paine
  • That means I stand in front of the dug out an when I smell something I blow a klaxon.

    "Same old Bill, eh Mable!" Edward Streeter
  • The plane's klaxon horn wailed through the night with a noise audible for miles.

    The Blue Ghost Mystery Harold Leland Goodwin
  • They consisted of bells, gongs, klaxon horns, and beautiful rockets that burst in a green flare.

    Average Americans Theodore Roosevelt
British Dictionary definitions for klaxon


a type of loud horn formerly used on motor vehicles
Word Origin
C20: former trademark, from the name of the manufacturing company
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for klaxon

"loud warning horn," 1908, originally on automobiles, said to have been named for the company that sold them (The Klaxon Company; distributor for Lovell-McConnell Mfg. Co., Newark, N.J.), but probably the company was named for the horn, which bore a word likely based on Greek klazein "to roar," cognate with Latin clangere "to resound."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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