man·​do·​lin | \ ˌman-də-ˈlin How to pronounce mandolin (audio) , ˈman-də-lən\
variants: or less commonly mandoline \ ˌman-​də-​ˈlēn How to pronounce mandoline (audio) , ˈman-​də-​lən \

Definition of mandolin

1 : a musical instrument of the lute family that has a usually pear-shaped body and fretted neck and four to six pairs of strings
2 usually mandoline [ French, from Italian mandolino mandolin ] : a kitchen utensil with a blade for slicing and shredding

Illustration of mandolin

Illustration of mandolin

mandolin 1

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Other Words from mandolin

mandolinist \ ˌman-​də-​ˈli-​nist How to pronounce mandolinist (audio) \ noun

Examples of mandolin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ralph Rinzler, a Greenwich Village mandolin player, came to Monroe’s defense with a 1963 cover story for Sing Out! magazine. Eddie Dean, WSJ, "‘Bill Monroe’ and ‘Blue Grass Generation’ Review: The Blue Grass Boy," 27 Sep. 2018 Julienne the carrots and cucumbers using a sharp knife or Japanese mandolin with attachment. Talia Abbas, SELF, "How to Throw a Laid-Back Holiday Party at Home, from the Team at A Summer Day Cafe," 6 Dec. 2018 A few feet away stands a troubadour with his mandolin, both sculpted using flowers. Jay Jones,, "Here's what 57,000 flowers create at Vegas' Bellagio Conservatory, where love is in the air," 12 July 2018 Vivaldi’s trademark cascading runs and fluttering trills sat beautifully beneath Avital’s fleet fingers, while his pleasantly twangy mandolin emerged in judicious balance again the lithe, animated ensemble. John Von Rhein,, "Avi Avital's brilliant debut highlights lively, engaging CSO program," 8 June 2018 This year’s top prize is a handmade Bourgeouis guitar, valued at $6,000, with a second place prize of an Eastern mandolin, and a Deering Good Time banjo for third prize. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Frankfort Bluegrass Festival continues to grow," 6 July 2018 Band members include Alex Berman on banjo and vocals, Ben Kolakowski on guitar and vocals, Alex Tocco on fiddle and vocals, Ryan Rogers on mandolin and Colin Rappa on bass fiddle. Susan Soldavin, Howard County Times, "Summer rocks with musical events and more [Clarksville]," 6 July 2018 In its early days, the band played mostly the country music circuit, where guitars, mandolins and fiddles dominated and drummers were generally shunned. Kurt Gottschalk, New York Times, "D.J. Fontana, 87, Elvis Presley’s Longtime Drummer, Is Dead," 14 June 2018 As a kid, Daniel Lofaro built instruments — a few guitars, some mandolins, other little things. Sarah Larimer, Washington Post, "How two GMU professors teamed up to create high-tech music," 18 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mandolin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mandolin

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mandolin

Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola

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Statistics for mandolin

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for mandolin

The first known use of mandolin was in 1707

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English Language Learners Definition of mandolin

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


man·​do·​lin | \ ˌman-də-ˈlin How to pronounce mandolin (audio) , ˈman-də-lən\

Kids Definition of mandolin

: a musical instrument with four pairs of strings played by plucking

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More from Merriam-Webster on mandolin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mandolin

Spanish Central: Translation of mandolin

Nglish: Translation of mandolin for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mandolin

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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