[ sak-suh-fohn ]
/ ˈsæk səˌfoʊn /


a musical wind instrument consisting of a conical, usually brass tube with keys or valves and a mouthpiece with one reed.

Origin of saxophone

1850–55; Sax (see saxhorn) + -o- + -phone


sax·o·phon·ic [sak-suh-fon-ik] /ˌsæk səˈfɒn ɪk/, adjectivesax·o·phon·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for saxophone

British Dictionary definitions for saxophone

/ (ˈsæksəˌfəʊn) /


a keyed wind instrument of mellow tone colour, used mainly in jazz and dance music. It is made in various sizes, has a conical bore, and a single reedOften shortened to: sax

Derived forms of saxophone

saxophonic (ˌsæksəˈfɒnɪk), adjectivesaxophonist (sækˈsɒfənɪst), noun

Word Origin for saxophone

C19: named after Adolphe Sax (1814–94), Belgian musical-instrument maker, who invented it (1846)
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

Cultural definitions for saxophone


A wind instrument classified as a woodwind because it is played with a reed, although it is usually made of metal. Saxophones appear mainly in jazz, dance, and military bands. They are made in several ranges, from soprano to bass.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.