from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A portable wind instrument with a small keyboard and free metal reeds that sound when air is forced past them by pleated bellows operated by the player.
  • adjective Having folds or bends like the bellows of an accordion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Resembling in its folds the bellows of an accordion: as, an accordion camera (one that is extensible), accordion skirts, etc.
  • noun A small keyed wind-instrument, opening and shutting like a bellows, and having its tones generated by the play of wind thus produced upon metallic reeds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mus.) A small, portable, keyed wind instrument, whose tones are generated by play of the wind upon free metallic reeds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small, portable, keyed wind instrument, whose tones are generated by play of the wind from a squeezed bellows upon free metallic reeds.
  • adjective Pleated, or folded like a bellows from an accordion.
  • verb transitive, intransitive To fold up, in the manner of an accordion

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a portable box-shaped free-reed instrument; the reeds are made to vibrate by air from the bellows controlled by the player


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[German Akkordion, from Akkord, chord, from French accord, harmony, from Old French acorder, to accord, from Medieval Latin accordāre, to bring into agreement; see accord.]


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  • An instrument that sounds surprisingly good in techno music. This must be experimented with more. Where are all my polkaravers?

    March 6, 2007

  • Ah, u, you know not what you say. I am a former accordionist, you see. (I've recovered.)

    March 6, 2007

  • Did you ever play trance? Makes all the difference in the world.

    March 6, 2007

  • I've played *in* a trance. But I guess that's different. ;-)

    March 6, 2007

  • If your audience didn't have glowsticks, it didn't count.

    March 6, 2007

  • One of my favorite bands has an accordion player. In fact the gentleman's rather famous among the fans for ruining his clothing during concerts, from sweating profusely and flinging himself all over the stage, falling onto his knees, playing while flat on his back, etc. Now *that's* playing an accordion!

    March 6, 2007

  • No glowsticks. Not that I noticed, anyway. Oh well....

    March 6, 2007

  • That *is* playing accordion, c_b. That's the spirit! Lady of Spain indeed. :-) And by the way, try to pick up one of TDA's black t-shirts emblazoned with a flaming accordion (and more flames up the sleeves). It's one of my favs.

    March 6, 2007

  • God, I hate the accordion!

    January 19, 2008

  • That makes me sad, SoG. It means you haven't heard good accordion music. Or buttonbox... or concertina...

    Of course, I'm not known among acquaintances for enjoying subtle music...

    January 19, 2008

  • Oh no! What did the poor little accordion say to get you so stirred up?

    c_b, I *need* the name of that band.

    January 19, 2008

  • SoG, say it ain't so! And jennarenn, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that chained is talking about Great Big Sea. Yes, c_b?

    January 20, 2008

  • Really??? He didn't do that when they played at Wolftrap. *miffed*

    January 20, 2008

  • Actually, it's the Pogues.

    Great Big Sea has a very good buttonbox player but he also plays fiddle, flute, mandolin, and about fifteen other things. And he does not fling himself all over the stage. He's busy... well... playing. And singing incredible harmony.

    January 20, 2008

  • I thought it might have been a particularly vigorous GBS concert. ;-)

    January 20, 2008

  • Oh, the Pogues. I love love love the Pogues. I had tickets to see them in their Joe Strummer-fronted incarnation, in Madrid, playing a double bill with Public Enemy, if you can believe that. But I, uh, got lost. Took the wrong train. And missed the show. That was over 15 years ago and it still make quake with grief.

    Excuse me a moment... *turns away, wiping eyes.*

    January 20, 2008

  • How awful! And I don't even listen to the Pogues.

    January 20, 2008

  • n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.

    June 1, 2008

  • Treaty or agreement made under musical duress (Semantricks)

    November 28, 2009

  • Methinks wolfnotes's definition is a bit of a stretch....

    It's how protons and neutrons get along. And acids and bases too, for that matter.

    November 28, 2009

  • Reesetee--do you really know Lady of Spain?

    January 18, 2011

  • No, no, no. I deliberately did not let myself learn "Lady of Spain."

    January 19, 2011

  • That's funny! Whenever I find out that someone knows how to play accordion, the first question I ask is whether they know Lady of Spain. I don't know where I picked up that bad habit.

    I do like the version by Les Paul and Mary Ford--but I don't think they used an accordion.

    January 19, 2011

  • How about this?

    January 19, 2011

  • Wow. That's just....

    Is that kid Lithuanian?

    I adore you, Pro.

    January 19, 2011

  • Let me tell you--that kid is going to have incredible forearms in a few years.

    R: Not a bad habit at all. I've come to expect the Lady of Spain Question. :-)

    January 20, 2011

  • I'm astounded I didn't discover this page 4 years ago and expose a limited chapter of my past. I played accordion as a kid *and* I played in an accordion band. We played on a float in the Santa Barbara Fiesta Parade as well as other public venues for a number of years and appeared on the local TV station,KEYT, on several occasions. A few of the members could play 12th Street Rag with the bellow shake and were awe inspiring to the rest of us hacks.

    January 22, 2011

  • My people. *wipes away tear*

    January 22, 2011

  • Wow, oroboros--that's awesome. Do you know Lady of Spain?

    January 22, 2011

  • :-)

    January 23, 2011

  • That's no Lady! That's my....uh, hmmmm, well, no on Lady of Spain, but I did do an interview or two with playing on the local radio, too: KTMS.

    January 30, 2011

  • WORD: accordion

    DEFINITION: A musical instrument, the performance of which the Arch-fiend makes mandatory when you become an eternal inmate of Hell. Back among the living, the accordion is sometimes affectionately referred to as a "squeezebox", even though (or because) one slang meaning of squeezebox is "vagina".


    (1) ' “Welcome to heaven . . . Here's your harp." / "Welcome to hell . . . Here's your accordion.” '

    ― Caption of cartoon by Gary Larson, The Complete Far Side, 1980-1994.

    (2) " A squeezebox is heaven, an accordion, hell. "

    ― From Sayings of Dinkum


    A good copy of the Gary Larson Far Side cartoon "Welcome to Hell, here's your accordion" can be found at:

    << >>

    Another reasonably good copy can be found at:

    << >>

    September 3, 2013