Word of the Day

Monday, December 16, 2013

klaxon

\KLAK-suhn\ , noun;
1.
a loud electric horn, formerly used on automobiles, trucks, etc., and now often used as a warning signal.
Quotes:
He invented the Klaxon, a horn that relied on electricity to vibrate a metal diaphragm, emitting a sound that was shrill yet guttural, abrupt yet unending, ugly yet lifesaving.
-- Julie M. Fenster, The Spirit of Invention, 2009
Everybody has heard a klaxon on a car suddenly begin to sound; I understand it is a short circuit that causes it.
-- James Thurber, "Let Your Mind Alone!," The New Yorker, 1937
Origin:
Klaxon got its name from an American manufacturing company that made horns for automobiles. It entered English in the early 1900s.
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