[hahr-moh-nee-uh m]


an organlike keyboard instrument with small metal reeds and a pair of bellows operated by the player's feet.

Origin of harmonium

1840–50; Latinization of Greek harmónion, neuter of harmónios harmonious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harmonium

Historical Examples of harmonium

  • He sang an Offertory solo, accompanying himself on the harmonium.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

  • Miss Campion presided at the harmonium that evening in place of Father Letheby.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

  • One of their chief instruments is the 'Marimba' or 'Tyanbilo,' a form of harmonium.

  • Yes, a harmonium would be just the thing; perhaps one could be spared me.

  • Indeed, there were some among them who deliberately said they preferred a harmonium to an organ!

    The Coxswain's Bride

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for harmonium



a musical keyboard instrument of the reed organ family, in which air from pedal-operated bellows causes the reeds to vibrate

Word Origin for harmonium

C19: from French, from harmonie harmony
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 harmonium

keyboard instrument, 1847, from French harmonium, from Greek harmonia (see harmony). Invented c.1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper