• synonyms


[soo-zuh-fohn, -suh-]
  1. a form of bass tuba, similar to the helicon, used in brass bands.
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Origin of sousaphone

1920–25; named after J. P. Sousa; see -phone
Related formssou·sa·phon·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sousaphone


  1. music a large tuba that encircles the player's body and has a bell facing forwards
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Derived Formssousaphonist, noun

Word Origin for sousaphone

C20: named after John Philip Sousa
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 sousaphone


1903, named for U.S. bandleader and composer John Philip Sousa (1854-1932).

The first sousaphone was made by C.G. Conn in 1899 expressly for Sousa's band and its bell opened directly upward. The present bell-front type was first made in 1908. ["International Cyclopedia of Music," 1939]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sousaphone in Culture


A kind of tuba that wraps around the player's body so that it can be carried easily while marching.

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The sousaphone is named after the bandmaster John Philip Sousa, who suggested building the instrument in this shape.
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.