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musical box

noun, Chiefly British.
Origin of musical box

music box

a box or case containing an apparatus for producing music mechanically, as by means of a comblike steel plate with tuned teeth sounded by small pegs or pins in the surface of a revolving cylinder or disk.
Also, especially British, musical box.
1765-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for musical-box
Historical Examples
  • And the strains of the musical-box—so thin and tinkling in the open air—filled the pause.

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • The musical-box had burst into selections from The Pirates of Penzance.

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • When at home his private band officiated; when he was on his travels a musical-box or gramophone supplied the necessary melody.

    The Burglars' Club Henry A. Hering
  • He also showed me a musical-box and a spy-glass, asking many p. 38questions.

    General Gordon J. Wardle
  • Chords and harmonies indeed, as if you'd put a musical-box in the frames.

    Thorley Weir E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
  • Is it, for example, quite impossible to supply them with that not uninteresting development of the musical-box—the megaphone?

    The Siege of Mafeking (1900) J. Angus Hamilton.
  • Mouldings are run out for us by the mile, like iron from the rolling-mill or tunes from a musical-box, as cheap and as soulless.

  • Anne-Marie was a musical-box, ten years old, with yellow hair, whom he had wanted to get hold of for the last six months.

    The Devourers Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • Mr. Thoreau has twice listened to the music of the spheres, which, for our private convenience, we have packed into a musical-box.

  • And Poor Aunt Anne's musical-box lay on the floor, a ruin of splintered glass.

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for musical-box

music box

a mechanical instrument that plays tunes by means of pins on a revolving cylinder striking the tuned teeth of a comblike metal plate, contained in a box
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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