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See more synonyms for xylophone on Thesaurus.com
  1. a musical instrument consisting of a graduated series of wooden bars, usually sounded by striking with small wooden hammers.
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Origin of xylophone

First recorded in 1865–70; xylo- + -phone
Related formsxy·lo·phon·ic [zahy-luh-fon-ik] /ˌzaɪ ləˈfɒn ɪk/, adjectivexy·lo·phon·ist [zahy-luh-foh-nist, zahy-lof-uh-nist, zi-] /ˈzaɪ ləˌfoʊ nɪst, zaɪˈlɒf ə nɪst, zɪ-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for xylophone


  1. music a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars of graduated length. It is played with hard-headed hammers
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Derived Formsxylophonic (ˌzaɪləˈfɒnɪk), adjectivexylophonist (zaɪˈlɒfənɪst), noun

Word Origin

C19: from xylo- + -phone
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 xylophone


1866, coined from Greek xylon "wood" + phone "a sound" (see fame (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper