a phonograph, radio, or other sound-reproducing apparatus possessing high fidelity.


of, relating to, or characteristic of such apparatus; high-fidelity.

Origin of hi-fi

1945–50, Americanism; shortened form of high fidelity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hi-fi

Contemporary Examples of hi-fi

Historical Examples of hi-fi

  • The players were projectors of full-color, hi-fi sound, tri-di pictures.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • He punched a button on the chair and the 600-dollar hi-fi selected a random tape.

    The Syndic

    C.M. Kornbluth

  • I played some hi-fi records, things she liked, until she fell asleep.

  • "That's what I thought," I said, getting up to switch on the hi-fi.

    The Right Time

    Walter Bupp

  • Just to keep the mood the same, I turned on my hi-fi and drew the loveseat up in front of the desk in my study.

    The Right Time

    Walter Bupp

British Dictionary definitions for hi-fi


noun informal

  1. short for high fidelity
  2. (as modifier)hi-fi equipment
a set of high-quality sound-reproducing equipment
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 hi-fi

1947, abbreviation of high fidelity (1934), of radio recievers, in reference to their quality of sound reproduction. Hi as an advertiser's phonetic shortening of high is attested by 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper