Definition of accordion in English:



  • 1A musical instrument played by stretching and squeezing with the hands to work a central bellows that blows air over metal reeds, the melody and chords being sounded by buttons or keys.

    ‘her five brothers and sisters were singing to the accompaniment of an accordion’
    Compare with concertina
    [as modifier] ‘an accordion player’
    • ‘All of these involved musical accompaniment, with fiddles, harmonicas, and later accordions.’
    • ‘Electric guitars, souped up accordions and samples of bagpipe music, the instruments were the only electrifying aspect of the assault to the senses.’
    • ‘Paintings and precious ornaments line the walls, pictures painted by his parents: a pride of lions, a stormy ocean scene, swords, a family bible, two accordions and a cello.’
    • ‘In the past, the band's predilection for exotic instrumentation would sometimes result in stray accordions or sleigh bells getting completely buried in an amorphous mash.’
    • ‘We also want to bring in piano accordions into the band which at the moment is predominantly made up of button accordions.’
    • ‘Saxophones, accordions, guitars, clarinets, double-bass, and percussion blend with an extensive electronic array of clicks, hiss, static, and sampled voices.’
    • ‘In his early years he also sold a variety of articles like accordions, concertinas and mouth-organs, costume accessories and straw hat polish - anything indeed which would turn an honest penny.’
    • ‘By mixing unashamed rock with Mexican music and throwing in accordions and honking saxophones, Los Lobos create a sound that endures.’
    • ‘Watching the world go by as you sit on a French-style ‘terrace’, sipping your café au lait, under an endless blue sky - you can almost hear the sound of the accordions playing.’
    • ‘Over in the Marist Hall that evening a recital will take place at 8pm and the instruments involved are accordions, concertina and guitars and traditional singing.’
    • ‘Next Thursday, the Sultans of Squeeze come to town with their collection of melodions, accordions and concertinas to perform music of all genres, from folk, to waltzes, to blues to rock ‘n’ roll.’
    • ‘The most impressive moment is the vaudeville-esque outro, fleshed out with seemingly decaying accordions.’
    • ‘On some accordions separate banks of reeds with a variety of timbres may be brought into play by pressing tabs set above the manuals.’
    • ‘Beautiful harmonies, including an ending Latin prayer, are bathed in a delicate blanket of accordions and Spanish guitars.’
    • ‘I'm all sampling strings and accordions, almost to where it brings up visions of a pastoral French landscape.’
    • ‘This is usually very enjoyable with many good singers bringing along their guitars and accordions for a good session.’
    • ‘Although the band started out playing dishpans, accordions, and glockenspiel, they eventually settled on a more traditional sound.’
    • ‘Stacked with pop aplenty, this album is fun and flighty, filled with accordions, trumpets, guitar, a sitar (sitars are cool!) and even a few MTV Unplugged performances.’
    • ‘MEXICAN FOLK music blares from a boom box, the sounds of accordions filtering up the stairs.’
    • ‘A peat fire burns all day and locals sometimes turn up with their bagpipes, accordions or mouth organs!’
    1. 1.1[as modifier]Folding like the bellows of an accordion.
      ‘an accordion pleat’
      • ‘She was nervously folding the fabric of her shirt into accordion folds.’
      • ‘These accordion style doors have the advantages of no tracks to trip over or keep clean.’
      • ‘Cardboard strips can also be curved, folded in accordion fashion, and coiled for a wide variety of effects.’
      • ‘Fold one side one inch back and continue in an accordion fashion until you have one strip of tissue about one inch across.’
      • ‘A white sporting jacket with a thick, accordion collar over a brown sweater and a white sailing shirt.’
      • ‘You might even want to throw in some fancier accordion pleats or other folds to make your shapes come to life.’
      • ‘Purchase a plastic accordion folder and create tabs for each of the children you babysit.’
      • ‘It looked like it was a single car that had no hood and two trunks, with an accordion design in the middle.’
      • ‘Repeated a few times, it has an accordion effect and adds several minutes to the journey.’
      • ‘A recent solo exhibition at Mixed Greens featured two drawings in accordion books.’
      • ‘The PV array blanket is folded in an accordion style before placement in a canister.’
      • ‘To save these pieces he folded the paper accordion style, and from that came the idea of making even sized rectangles one under the other on each pleat.’
      • ‘Only the prototype for accordion garage doors, which form the entire facade on the south side, can be called a luxury item.’
      • ‘She demonstrates the accordion binding of Hiddenness by opening the book to stand on its own as a kind of folding canvas.’
      • ‘No children defying their parents and pulling things off the shelves and no scary women with accordion folders full of coupons.’
      • ‘For example, to keep her papers in order, would she work best with a binder or an accordion file?’
      • ‘Another format of Japanese books are accordion structures with a few variations.’
      • ‘Use cloth napkins, fold them into accordion pleats and place them in the water glasses.’


Mid 19th century: from German Akkordion, from Italian accordare to tune.