Definition of recorder in US English:



  • 1An apparatus for recording sound, pictures, or data, especially a tape recorder.

    • ‘The multifunction device combines miniaturized versions of a digital camera, PC camera, video recorder and audio recorder.’
    • ‘If you are a musician you may also use the voice recorder to record songs you play or sing.’
    • ‘Today, investigators are combing the crash sites and preparing to analyze flight data and cockpit voice recorders for vital clues.’
    • ‘Consultants at St George's, which sends about 1,000 letters a month to be typed, dictate them onto voice recorders.’
    • ‘The voice recorder picks up any conversation inside the cockpit but saves only the last 30 minutes of sound.’
    • ‘He had a voice-activated recorder in his office so he could keep up with everything.’
    • ‘The team will bring plenty of sophisticated equipment, such as night-vision cameras, sound recorders, digital cameras, infrared equipment and digital laser thermometers, as well as more traditional gear such as dowsing rods.’
    • ‘He said the local group also seeks funding, equipment and volunteers to set up a public media lab filled with computers and media-gathering equipment such as video cameras, scanners and sound recorders.’
    • ‘The 150 also operates as a voice recorder - indeed, the player will directly encode MP3 files from a variety of sources through its audio-in port.’
    • ‘The recorder captured the sounds of loud thumps, crashes, shouts, and breaking glasses and plates.’
    • ‘I think I will definitely have to invest in either a voice recorder or a microphone attachment for my iPod to try and get some of these details when I talk with people.’
    • ‘The plane was not required to have a cockpit voice recorder and was not equipped with one.’
    • ‘U.S. doctors dictate notes into digital recorders; the sound clips can then travel to India via the Internet for Indian typists to transcribe.’
    • ‘The iPod is also an alarm clock, a games console and, with the right attachments, a voice recorder or FM radio.’
    • ‘Even small-town newspaper reporters carry miniature recorders to get accurate quotes.’
    • ‘The cockpit voice recorder is in good condition and was not seriously damaged.’
    • ‘I personally do not use Minidisc recorders, but they sound good for the money, which is why lots of people love them and I recommend them for beginners.’
    • ‘It does have a voice recorder, which records voice memos up to an hour.’
    • ‘The handsets for the system combine a phone, walkie-talkie and GPS positioner with the option to add future gadgets, such as cameras, sound recorders and fingerprint recognition machines.’
    • ‘Users can transfer pictures between the DVD recorder and their mobile device.’
    • ‘German investigators were to begin analysing information from the planes' flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders yesterday.’
    • ‘To meet flight safety objectives, the system also directs signals and data to cockpit voice and flight data recorders.’
    tape recorder, cassette recorder
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  • 2A person who keeps records.

    ‘a poet and recorder of rural and industrial life’
    • ‘Mission recorders had documented thirty-one kills, the highest number of enemy soldiers killed in a single ground operation so far.’
    • ‘Political reporters, especially the day-to-day recorders of official Washington developments and events, are protective of Washington.’
    • ‘With more than 11,000 registered recorders this study into the timing of natural, seasonal events is the largest of its kind in the world.’
    • ‘The judge permitted the court recorder to indicate that the witness declined to respond to the question.’
    • ‘Rather, he is a writer-down of things: a recorder of thoughts and observations, an inscriber of lists and memoranda.’
    • ‘The long, cold line-ups in front of the mining recorder's office in Iqaluit paid off this week as mining companies received their much-coveted prospecting permits.’
    • ‘Now, journalists, of course, are supposed to be impartial recorders and reporters of fact.’
    • ‘As Beverly Bell notes, poor Haitian women ‘are virtually absent as recorders of history and as actors in that history.’’
    • ‘The court recorder had transcribed the actual testimony but not the courtroom banter during the rest of the proceedings.’
    • ‘After registering the complaint, the recorder repeats the complaint for the benefit of the complainant.’
    • ‘Commissioners had to forward the certification to the recorder of deeds before the change could take effect.’
    • ‘Kinsey claimed he and his team were the recorders and reporters of facts - not the judges of the behaviors described.’
    • ‘Bama is not just a writer but also a chronicler and recorder of Dalit life and struggle in Tamil Nadu.’
    • ‘By grabbing additional officers and petty officers to act as runners, phone talkers, and recorders, the load further was reduced and information flow to the skipper improved.’
    • ‘Small groups delegate both recorders and reporters, and the latter are designated to provide feedback to the larger group, all under the watchful eye of the facilitator.’
    record keeper
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  • 3(in England and Wales) a barrister appointed to serve as a part-time judge.

    • ‘The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Norman Jones QC adjourned sentence until next Friday but told Richardson a life sentence was inevitable.’
    • ‘Parliament ultimately is also responsible for the provision of resources by way of judges, Recorders, courtrooms and staff, to enable cases to be heard within those custody time limits.’
    • ‘The Recorder heard evidence from the police officers.’
    • ‘It was clear to me that in view of the learned Recorder's judgment, the claimant had no option but to discontinue the claim.’
    • ‘Judges in England often start as part-time Recorders, so that they can make up their own minds whether they would like a judicial job in the future.’
    • ‘The honorary recorder of York, Judge Paul Hoffman, gave her a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years.’
    • ‘Yesterday, the Recorder of Manchester, Judge David Maddison, formally acquitted Horton and said he was free to leave court.’
    • ‘In due course however and as part of the Defendant's case the Recorder permitted evidence to be called as to the disciplinary hearings themselves.’
    • ‘The Recorder of Bradford Judge Stephen Gullick sentenced him to four years and nine months in prison.’
    • ‘Consequently, no one was in court for the prosecution when the Recorder of Bristol, His Honour Judge Dyer, was ready to hear the matter.’
    • ‘The Recorder directed that the prosecution needed to prove an indecent intention, and Lord Ackner signified his approval of this.’
    • ‘The Recorder of York, Judge Paul Hoffman, signed a warrant for Clarkson's arrest, after a jury at York Crown Court convicted him in his absence of robbery.’
    • ‘He had been acquitted, by direction of the Recorder, of attempted theft.’
    • ‘On appeal it was submitted that the procedure adopted by the Recorder was in breach of the Convention.’
    • ‘The Recorder of Newcastle, Judge David Hodson, formally found him not guilty and lifted the reporting restrictions.’
    • ‘He had been due to stand trial next week but, at the hearing for plea and directions before the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, he admitted the offence.’
    • ‘The learned trial judge, the Recorder of London, gave a most careful judgment which we have read with care.’
    • ‘When we began work, Chairmen were paid £245.70 a day, compared with £349.52 for Recorders and £327 for part-time Appeals Service legal members.’
    • ‘It is submitted by Sir Derek Spencer on behalf of the appellant that the Recorder of London was wrong to rule as he did.’
    • ‘The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont QC, adjourned sentencing until August 18.’
    1. 3.1British historical A judge in certain courts.
      judge, magistrate, her honour, his honour, your honour
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  • 4A simple wind instrument with finger holes and no keys, held vertically and played by blowing air through a shaped mouthpiece against a sharp edge.

    • ‘Sheet music at five cents a page, mouth organs manufactured in Germany, tin whistles and recorders from St Petersburg, and pianola rolls were among the commodities the stores offered for sale.’
    • ‘I have never thought of the recorder as an instrument of any great character, even when well played, but Mr Morse-Owen made me think again.’
    • ‘Favoured instruments include the hurdy-gurdy, dulcimer, recorders, zither, guitars and drums.’
    • ‘The festival covers a whole range of categories: speech and drama, vocal, choirs, woodwind, piano, strings, harp, guitar, recorders, and group music-making and there is even a class for electric violin.’
    • ‘She plays the violin, viola and piano, while Antony plays the viola, cello, double bass, tuba, guitar and recorder.’
    • ‘Julian plays four instruments: the piano, oboe, saxophone and recorder.’
    • ‘The instruments used are recorder, harpsichord, and cello.’
    • ‘I am gathering ideas for my upcoming projects: a work for actor and chamber ensemble, a trio for clarinet, cello and piano and another trio for recorder, cello and harpsichord.’
    • ‘In woodwind instruments, such as the recorder or flute, the pitch of the note depends on the length of the closed tube.’
    • ‘The school employs two music teachers, has a large school choir and offers tuition in piano, guitar, recorder, violin and flute.’
    • ‘They might choose to play the guitar, recorder, saxophone, harp, drum, xylophone, violin, piano, banjo, symbols or the triangle or any other instrument of varied origins.’
    • ‘An ensemble of three recorders, harpsichord, bass viol and theorbo supported the trio of singers with sensitivity and aplomb.’
    • ‘But then all these mandolins come in, and weird warbly flutes and recorders that I guess are trying to emulate South American pan pipes.’
    • ‘They were greeted by staff playing all manner of musical instruments from tambourines to recorders and the less musically gifted banging pots and pans.’
    • ‘In fact, I can't even play a musical instrument except the recorder.’
    • ‘Last summer, I played my flute and my recorder in a Celtic Band class at the Albuquerque Academy.’
    • ‘We had people trying saxophone, cello, flutes, recorders, piano and all sorts.’
    • ‘In the hope of recreating the sounds intended by the composer, the players will use instruments available in Handel's day, such as strings, oboes, recorders, organ, harpsichord and arch lute.’
    • ‘Every child learns to play musical instruments, the recorder in the third grade and the violin in the sixth grade.’
    • ‘The music will be performed live on stage in a band that includes bass, violin, electric guitar and stranger instruments like the recorder and pots and pans.’


Late Middle English (denoting a kind of judge): from Anglo-Norman French recordour, from Old French recorder ‘bring to remembrance’; partly reinforced by the verb record (also used in the obsolete sense ‘practice a tune’: see recorder (sense 4)).