[trom-bohn, trom-bohn]


a musical wind instrument consisting of a cylindrical metal tube expanding into a bell and bent twice in a U shape, usually equipped with a slide (slide trombone).

Origin of trombone

1715–25; < Italian, equivalent to tromb(a) trumpet (< Provençal < Germanic; compare Old High German trumpa, trumba horn, trumpet) + -one augmentative suffix
Related formstrom·bon·ist [trom-boh-nist, trom-boh-] /trɒmˈboʊ nɪst, ˈtrɒm boʊ-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trombone

Contemporary Examples of trombone

Historical Examples of trombone

  • The trombone blatted and the orchestra roared with laughter.


    James Huneker

  • His voice was as thrilling as a trombone, and his words did not matter.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • In summer, when they were in bloom, he used to sit there with his friend that played the trombone.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • And then, gee, a blast of the trombone and she would show them what a star was, a real one!

    The Bill-Toppers

    Andre Castaigne

  • And so he began again on the trombone; and the boys said, "Louder!"

British Dictionary definitions for trombone



a brass instrument, a low-pitched counterpart of the trumpet, consisting of a tube the effective length of which is varied by means of a U-shaped slide. The usual forms of this instrument are the tenor trombone (range: about two and a half octaves upwards from E) and the bass trombone (pitched a fourth lower)
a person who plays this instrument in an orchestra
Derived Formstrombonist, noun

Word Origin for trombone

C18: from Italian, from tromba a trumpet, from Old High German trumba
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 trombone

brass wind instrument, 1724, from Italian trombone, augmentative form of tromba "trumpet," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German trumba "trumpet;" see trumpet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trombone in Culture


A brass instrument; the player can change its pitch by sliding one part of the tube in and out of the other. The tone of the trombone is mellower than that of the trumpet.

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.