• synonyms


[boo r-dn, bawr-, bohr-]
noun Music.
    1. the drone pipe of a bagpipe.
    2. the drone string of a stringed instrument.
  1. a low-pitched tone; bass.
  2. a pipe organ stop of very low pitch.
  3. the bell in a carillon having the lowest pitch.
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Origin of bourdon

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French; see burden2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bourdon

Historical Examples of bourdon

  • The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Oscar Wilde

  • Bourdon, arm all batteries and lock onto that Mancji ship,” I ordered.


    John Keith Laumer

  • He manages a canoe well, when himself; so go, Bourdon, while you can.

    Oak Openings

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • There are several—one is at your feet, Bourdon—and here, I have another.

    Oak Openings

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • But what have you in charge that has anything to do with Bourdon and me?

    Oak Openings

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for bourdon


  1. a 16-foot organ stop of the stopped diapason type
  2. the drone of a bagpipe
  3. a drone or pedal point in the bass of a harmonized melody
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Word Origin for bourdon

C14: from Old French: drone (of a musical instrument), of imitative origin
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