[ 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 formsgram·o·phon·ic [gram-uh-fon-ik] /ˌgræm əˈfɒn ɪk/, gram·o·phon·i·cal, adjectivegram·o·phon·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gramophone

British Dictionary definitions for gramophone


/ (ˈɡræməˌfəʊn) /


  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 hornUS and Canadian name: phonograph
  2. (as modifier)a gramophone record
the technique and practice of recording sound on discthe gramophone has made music widely available
Derived Formsgramophonic (ˌɡræməˈfɒnɪk), adjective

Word Origin for gramophone

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

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