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90s Slang You Should Know


[gram-uh-fohn] /ˈgræm əˌfoʊn/
a phonograph.
Origin of gramophone
First recorded in 1887; originally a trademark; apparently inversion of phonogram now obsolete name for a phonographic cylinder
Related forms
[gram-uh-fon-ik] /ˌgræm əˈfɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
gramophonical, adjective
gramophonically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gramophone
Historical Examples
  • A gramophone occupied a side table, and skins and pictures were hanging on the walls.

  • It attracted me as did the gramophone, the camera, the automobile.

    A Labrador Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • While the regimental officers were listening to a gramophone playing the Rakoczy march, a bomb exploded among them.

    The Forerunners Romain Rolland
  • The slogan of the musical advance guard is "a gramophone in every school."

    Spirit and Music H. Ernest Hunt
  • We regaled him with wassail and gramophone and explained the situation to him.

  • In Fig. 151c the construction of the gramophone reproducer is shown in section.

    How it Works Archibald Williams
  • There is this about a gramophone: it is a thing that speaks the home tongue.

  • Some gramophone records have as many as 250 turns to the inch.

    How it Works Archibald Williams
  • From the distant sound of the gramophone, he gathered that Grace Powers was engaged upstairs with a pupil.

    Jacob's Ladder E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • A gramophone with a large supply of records was, I think, our best friend.

British Dictionary definitions for gramophone


  1. Also called acoustic gramophone. a device for reproducing the sounds stored on a record: now usually applied to the nearly obsolete type that uses a clockwork motor and acoustic horn US and Canadian name phonograph
  2. (as modifier): a gramophone record
the technique and practice of recording sound on disc: the gramophone has made music widely available
Derived Forms
gramophonic (ˌɡræməˈfɒnɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: originally a trademark, perhaps based on an inversion of phonogram; see phono-, -gram
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 gramophone



1887, trademark by German-born U.S. inventor Emil Berliner (1851-1929), an inversion of phonogram (1884) "the tracing made by a phonograph needle," coined from Greek phone "voice, sound" (see fame (n.)) + gramma "something written" (see grammar).

Berliner's machine used a flat disc and succeeded with the public. Edison's phonograph used a cylinder and did not. Despised by linguistic purists (Weekley calls gramophone "An atrocity formed by reversing phonogram") who tried to at least amend it to grammophone, it was replaced by record player after mid-1950s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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