Definitions

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

  • n. A small harmonium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A music hall.
  • n. A type of reed organ with a single keyboard.
  • n. An accordion where the melody-side keyboard is limited to the notes of diatonic scales in a small number of keys.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of small reed organ; -- a portable form of the seraphine.
  • n. A music hall.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A reed-organ or harmonium.

Etymologies

Probably alteration of melodium, from melody.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From melo- + odeon. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The scene to be represented is a parlor furnished with sofa, chairs, carpet, pictures, table, and a melodeon, which is placed on the side of the stage.

    Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants

  • Dancing was tabooed, but a "melodeon" was carted to the dock and hymns were sung.

    The Kirk on Rutgers Farm

  • Presently the profound stillness was broken by the harmonium -- "melodeon" is, I believe, the precise name of the instrument -- softly sounding a bar of music.

    Faces and Places

  • For their second set, they were in novelty mode, tackling Abba, Madness, a-ha and the Carpenters with impressive crooning from Paul Sartin on Close to You, and they ended with melodeon-backed dance tunes, with furious vocals and fiddle-work from Jon Boden on New York Girls.

    Bellowhead/Baghdaddies – review

  • The single fellows had no such doubts (much); beneath me a bunch in slouch hats and jeans were passing the jug around boisterously, and one with a melodeon was striking up:

    Isabelle

  • Except for the fiddle at a dance or a melodeon at home, frontier music, in its cultural aspects, was largely confined to amateur bands with plenty of oompah.

    THE AMERICAN WEST

  • Ben Ivitsky (viola and guitar), John Boden (fiddle and double bass), and John Spiers (melodeon) complement Carthy's vocals and fiddle perfectly, and the result is Carthy's strongest solo record to date.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • He evoked the high pulpit with the red plush pillow for the Bible, the stiff pews, the black contribution purses attached to long poles, “the wheezy melodeon in the gallery-front” and the “old maid behind it in severe simplicity of dress,” the choir that raved and roared around its “victim” the hymn, “& pulled & hauled & flayed it.”

    Mark Twain

  • He later entertainingly disgorged his visual and aural memories of it all—the high pulpit with the red plush pillow for the Bible, the stiff wooden pews, the “melodeon,” or primitive organ; the caterwauling choir, the dozing oldsters, and his scattered fellow captives, the other boys, their spitballs at the ready, grateful for the diversion of a dog sitting down on the stinging warhead of a pinch bug—and getting up again.

    Mark Twain

  • Lionel Leopold dear Henry Flower earnestly Mr Leopold Bloom envisaged battered candlesticks melodeon oozing maggoty blowbags.

    Ulysses

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The living room was full of things: tables, and lots of chairs, all with crocheted antimacassars; pictures and pennants and fans on the wall; a big melodeon at one end of the room with very old sheet music on it; and in the wide doorway there were portieres all made of beads which rattled like rain on a tin roof when Mrs. Wheelwright brushed against them."
    The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright, p 56 of the 2002 hardcover edition

    July 6, 2011