[nik-uh-loh-dee-uh n]


an early motion-picture theater where a film or a variety show could be seen, usually for the admission price of a nickel.
an early jukebox that was operated by inserting nickels.

Origin of nickelodeon

1885–90, Americanism; nickel (in the sense of “coin”) + (mel)odeon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for nickelodeon


noun US

an early form of jukebox
(formerly) a cinema charging five cents for admission
(formerly) a Pianola, esp one operated by inserting a five-cent piece

Word Origin for nickelodeon

C20: from nickel + (mel) odeon
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 nickelodeon

1888, "motion picture theater," from nickel "five-cent coin" (the cost to view one) + -odeon, as in Melodeon (1840) "music hall," ultimately from Greek oideion "building for musical performances" (see odeon). Meaning "nickel jukebox" is first attested 1938.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper