One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small rectangular wind instrument with a row of metal reeds along its length, held against the lips and moved from side to side to produce different notes by blowing or sucking.Also called mouth organ
- ‘The music is a unique sound of Irish folk ballads, traditional tunes with vocals accompanied by bazouki, bodhrán, harmonicas and whistles.’
- ‘He blew into his harmonica with the microphone pressed hard up to its air outlets.’
- ‘Finally he turned around, a harmonica pressed up against his mouth as he blew in and out.’
- ‘He recalled his amazement at seeing his friend play the harmonica with one hand while accompanying himself on the piano.’
- ‘He first started entertaining the other deckhands with his harmonica and then added the guitar.’
Mid 18th century: from Latin, feminine singular or neuter plural of harmonicus ‘musical’ (see harmonic).
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