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[trom-bohn, trom-bohn] /trɒmˈboʊn, ˈtrɒm boʊn/
a musical wind instrument consisting of a cylindrical metal tube expanding into a bell and bent twice in a U shape, usually equipped with a slide (slide trombone)
Origin of trombone
1715-25; < Italian, equivalent to tromb(a) trumpet (< Provençal < Germanic; compare Old High German trumpa, trumba horn, trumpet) + -one augmentative suffix
Related forms
[trom-boh-nist, trom-boh-] /trɒmˈboʊ nɪst, ˈtrɒm boʊ-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for trombone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was obliged to speak loudly in order to be heard over the trombone and the drums.

  • In summer, when they were in bloom, he used to sit there with his friend that played the trombone.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • This is demonstrated in the trombone, French horn, and other wind instruments.

  • And then, gee, a blast of the trombone and she would show them what a star was, a real one!

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • And so he began again on the trombone; and the boys said, "Louder!"

  • He came from the fatherland; and his great specialty was to play on the trombone.

British Dictionary definitions for trombone


a brass instrument, a low-pitched counterpart of the trumpet, consisting of a tube the effective length of which is varied by means of a U-shaped slide. The usual forms of this instrument are the tenor trombone (range: about two and a half octaves upwards from E) and the bass trombone (pitched a fourth lower)
a person who plays this instrument in an orchestra
Derived Forms
trombonist, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from tromba a trumpet, from Old High German trumba
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 trombone

brass wind instrument, 1724, from Italian trombone, augmentative form of tromba "trumpet," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German trumba "trumpet;" see trumpet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trombone in Culture

trombone definition

A brass instrument; the player can change its pitch by sliding one part of the tube in and out of the other. The tone of the trombone is mellower than that of the trumpet.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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