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 banjo (audio) \ noun

Examples of banjo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The titles of these two projects suggest their essential difference: in Hot Sass, Cooper abandons banjo and ambience for a more forward psych-rock sound. Rianna Turner, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 Favorite Opry debut memory: My daddy grew up playing banjo and guitar and dreaming of playing at the Opry. Nancy Kruh,, 4 Aug. 2021 Flatt & Scruggs: In 1985, the bluegrass duo of Lester Flatt (guitar) and Earl Scruggs (banjo) became the first duo to be inducted. Paul Grein, Billboard, 16 Aug. 2021 Flack’s versatility and exuberance for new forms of creative expression took her to banjo camp in the summer of 2005. Samantha Baskind, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Aug. 2021 Expect book signings, games, baby movement classes and live banjo tunes. New York Times, 29 July 2021 The instrument lineup includes that prominent fiddle ( Wesley Hall ); keyboards, including B3 organ; banjo, drums and acoustic and electric guitars. Barry Mazor, WSJ, 13 July 2021 His father worked a farm and played banjo and fiddle at barn dances and other events. New York Times, 12 July 2021 Old IndyStar articles show that a two-piece banjo and piano band would entertain guests during some nights of the week and old silent film comedies were shown on televisions in the restaurant during the day. Indianapolis Star, 15 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near banjo



banjo clock

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Banjo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for banjo



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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