[foh-nuh-graf, -grahf]


any sound-reproducing machine using records in the form of cylinders or discs.

Origin of phonograph

1825–35 in sense “phonogram”; 1877 for the “talking phonograph” invented by T. A. Edison; phono- + -graph Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for phonograph

stereo, machine, hi-fi, gramophone, victrola, graphophone

Examples from the Web for phonograph

Contemporary Examples of phonograph

  • Radio broadcasts, phonograph recordings, and talking films were bringing culture to the masses.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Dreaming of Paris

    Philip Gefter

    January 28, 2010

Historical Examples of phonograph

British Dictionary definitions for phonograph



an early form of gramophone capable of recording and reproducing sound on wax cylinders
Also called: gramophone, record player US and Canadian 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 horn
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 phonograph

1835, "character representing a sound," literally "writer of sounds," from phono- "sound" + -graph "instrument for recording; something written." Meaning "an instrument that produces sounds from records" (talking phonograph, invented by Thomas A. Edison) it is attested from 1877. The recording made from it at first was called a phonogram (1879).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper