ban·​jo | \ ˈban-(ˌ)jō How to pronounce banjo (audio) \
plural banjos also banjoes

Definition of banjo

: a musical instrument with a drumlike body, a fretted neck, and usually four or five strings which may be plucked or strummed

Illustration of banjo

Illustration of banjo

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Other Words from banjo

banjoist \ ˈban-​ˌjō-​ist How to pronounce banjoist (audio) \ noun

Examples of banjo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Without that human connection, the product that supports banjo players, Shakespearean actors, stagehands and box-office clerks in Denver’s 12,000-person culture workforce disappeared in a matter of weeks. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post, "Denver’s thriving arts scene was headed for its best year yet. And then the pandemic hit.," 28 June 2020 Born in southwestern Virginia, the legendary banjo picker still lived out there at age 74 when David Gates profiled him. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Cryin’, Dyin’, or Goin’ Somewhere: A Country Music Reading List," 11 June 2015 An original member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an old-time string band from North Carolina, Dom Flemons is a singer-songwriter who also plays the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, percussion, quills, rhythm bones... Country Living Staff, Country Living, "102 Black Designers, Crafters, Makers, and More to Follow on Instagram Now," 12 June 2020 Antonoff pushed them to use their core strength, the three-part harmonies backed by fiddle and banjo, in new ways. Washington Post, "With new name and album, The Chicks’ voices ring loud again," 10 July 2020 His guitar, fiddle, and banjo skills also landed him on other major artists' records around that time. TheWeek, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," 7 July 2020 From vocals carried along freely by the accompaniment of rollicking banjo and harmonica to toe-tapping jams and sweetly confident ballads. cleveland, "Live music to return to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on July 4," 30 June 2020 Scores of singers, songwriters and even banjo-picking comedians converged on a neighborhood — and American culture — when society itself, to quote Dickens, careened between the best of times and the worst of times. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Laurel Canyon, once home to Harry Houdini, the Doors and the Eagles, is being lionized — again," 31 May 2020 From their Nashville home, the banjo virtuosos and married couple Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn will perform as part of the Banjo House Lockdown livestream series. Maya Salam, New York Times, "200 Stars, 24 Hours: Oprah, Julia Roberts and More," 1 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'banjo.' 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 banjo

1739, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for banjo

probably of African origin; akin to Kimbundu mbanza, a similar instrument

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Time Traveler for banjo

Time Traveler

The first known use of banjo was in 1739

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Statistics for banjo

Last Updated

21 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banjo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for banjo


How to pronounce banjo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of banjo

: a musical instrument like a small guitar with a round body, a long neck, and four or five strings


ban·​jo | \ ˈban-jō How to pronounce banjo (audio) \
plural banjos

Kids Definition of banjo

: a musical instrument with a round body, long neck, and four or five strings

More from Merriam-Webster on banjo

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

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