noun \ˌman-də-ˈlin, ˈman-də-lən\

: a small musical instrument that has a long neck, a body that is shaped like a pear, and usually four pairs of strings

Full Definition of MANDOLIN

:  a musical instrument of the lute family that has a usually pear-shaped body and fretted neck and four to six pairs of strings
usually mandoline [French, from Italian mandolino mandolin] :  a kitchen utensil with a blade for slicing and shredding
man·do·lin·ist \ˌman-də-ˈli-nist\ noun

Variants of MANDOLIN

man·do·lin also man·do·line \ˌman-də-ˈlēn, ˈman-də-lən\

Illustration of MANDOLIN

Origin of MANDOLIN

Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola
First Known Use: 1707


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Small stringed instrument related to the lute. It evolved in the 17th century in Italy, but its present form was strongly influenced by the 19th-century maker Pasquale Vinaccia (1806–82) of Naples. It has a pear-shaped body with a deeply vaulted back, a short fretted fingerboard, and four pairs of steel strings. (The American folk mandolin is a shallow, flat-backed version.) It is played with a plectrum; each pair of strings is strummed rapidly back and forth to produce a characteristic tremolo.


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