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[muh-loh-dee-uh n] /məˈloʊ di ən/
a small reed organ.
a kind of accordion.
Also, melodion.
1840-50, Americanism; < German, formed on Melodie melody; see accordion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for melodeon


noun (music)
a type of small accordion
a type of keyboard instrument similar to the harmonium
Word Origin
C19: from German, from Melodie melody
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 melodeon

1847, variant of melodion, from German Melopdoin, from Melodie, from Old French melodie (see melody).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for melodeon

keyboard instrument sounded by the vibration of free reeds by wind. It is an American development of the harmonium, from which it differs in two principal respects. Its foot-operated bellows draw the air in past the reeds by suction, rather than forcing it out by pressure; and the characteristic size and form of the reeds and resonators result in a more even dynamic level throughout the compass. It was slower to respond than the harmonium but sounded more organlike and had a softer tone

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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