AskDefine | Define trombone

Dictionary Definition

trombone n : a brass instrument consisting of a long tube whose length can be varied by a U-shaped slide

User Contributed Dictionary



(US) IPA: /ˌtrɑmˈbon/


From trombone, from tromba + augmentative suffix -one.


  1. A musical instrument in the brass family, having a cylindrical bore, and usually a sliding tube (but sometimes piston valves, and rarely both). Most often refers to the tenor trombone, which is the most common type of trombone and has a fundamental tone of B♭ˌ (contra B♭).


a musical instrument in the brass family
  • Catalan: trombó
  • Czech: trombón, pozoun
  • Danish: basun
  • Finnish: pasuuna
  • French: trombone
  • German: Posaune
  • Hungarian: harsona
  • Icelandic: básúna
  • Italian: trombone
  • Japanese: トロンボーン
  • Norwegian: trombone
  • Polish: puzon
  • Romanian: trombon
  • Slovene: pozavna
  • Spanish: trombón
  • Swedish: trombon




fr-noun m


  1. first person singular of tromboner



  1. trombone




Extensive Definition

The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, it is a lip-reed aerophone; sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips (embouchure) cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. The trombone is usually characterized by a telescopic slide with which the player varies the length of the tube to change pitches, although the less common valve trombone uses three valves similar to those on a trumpet.
The word trombone derives from Italian tromba (trumpet) and -one (a suffix meaning "large"), so the name literally means "large trumpet". Trombones and trumpets share the important characteristic of having predominantly cylindrical bores. Therefore, the most frequently encountered trombones — the tenor and bass trombone — are the tenor and bass counterparts of the trumpet. They are both pitched in B — with the slide all the way in, the notes of the harmonic series based on B can be played — but trombones generally read music in concert pitch.
A person who plays the trombone is referred to as a trombonist.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

English horn, alpenhorn, alphorn, althorn, alto horn, ballad horn, baritone, bass horn, bassoon, block flute, bombard, bourdon, brass choir, brass wind, brass-wind instrument, brasses, bugle, bugle horn, cello, claribel, clarinet, clarion, concert flute, cornet, cornet-a-pistons, corno di caccia, cornopean, cromorna, cymbel, diapason, double-bell euphonium, dulciana, euphonium, flute stop, foundation stop, fourniture, gamba, gedeckt, gemshorn, harmonic flute, helicon, horn, hunting horn, hybrid stop, key trumpet, koppel flute, larigot, lituus, lur, mellophone, melodia, mixture, mutation stop, nazard, oboe, octave, ophicleide, orchestral horn, organ stop, piccolo, plein jeu, pocket trumpet, posaune, post horn, principal, quint, quintaten, rank, ranket, reed stop, register, rohr flute, sackbut, saxhorn, saxtuba, serpent, sesquialtera, shawm, slide trombone, sliphorn, sousaphone, spitz flute, stop, stopped diapason, stopped flute, string diapason, string stop, tenor tuba, tierce, tremolo, tromba, trumpet, tuba, twelfth, unda maris, valve trombone, valve trumpet, vibrato, viola, voix celeste, vox angelica, vox humana
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