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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for accordion

concertina, melodeon, squeezebox

Examples from the Web for accordion

Contemporary Examples of accordion

Historical Examples of accordion

  • 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.

  • 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 Formsaccordionist, noun

Word Origin for accordion

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

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