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[uh-kawr-dee-uh n] /əˈkɔr di ən/
noun, Music.
Also called piano accordion. a portable wind instrument having a large bellows for forcing air through small metal reeds, a keyboard for the right hand, and buttons for sounding single bass notes or chords for the left hand.
a similar instrument having single-note buttons instead of a keyboard.
having a fold or folds like the bellows of an accordion:
accordion roof; accordion panel.
verb (used without object)
(of a door, roof, or other covering) to open by folding back or pressing together in the manner of an accordion:
The roof of the car accordions to let in sunlight and fresh air.
to fold, crush together, or collapse in the manner of an accordion.
verb (used with object)
to demolish by crushing together lengthwise:
The impact accordioned the car beneath the truck.
Origin of accordion
1831; < German, now spelling Akkordion, Akkordeon name under which the instrument was patented in Vienna in 1829; probably < French accord(er) or Italian accord(are) to harmonize (see accord) + French -ion -ion, as in German Orchestrion orchestrion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for accordion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With that, the unknown displayed an accordion which was slung across his chest.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Was not his accordion there to show that he possessed a regular means of livelihood?

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Ye can't foller a fiddle an' sing, ye got to hev a melodeon or accordion.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • The Italian slipped his hands from the accordion and laid it aside.

  • Gunner Oke had strapped an accordion on top of his knapsack.

    Merry-Garden and Other Stories

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for accordion


a portable box-shaped instrument of the reed organ family, consisting of metallic reeds that are made to vibrate by air from a set of bellows controlled by the player's hands. Notes are produced by means of studlike keys
short for piano accordion
Derived Forms
accordionist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from German Akkordion,from Akkord harmony, chord
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 accordion

1831, from German Akkordion, from Akkord "musical chord, concord of sounds, be in tune" (cf. Italian accordare "to attune an instrument"); ultimately from same source as English accord (v.), with suffix on analogy of clarion, etc. Invented 1829 by piano-maker Cyrill Demian (1772-1847) of Vienna.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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