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 Today, politicians often aspire to be seen as one of those real Americans—the straight-talking, salt-of-the-earth folks who gave us banjo music and barbecue. John Patrick Leary, The New Republic, "Why Politicians Can’t Stop Talking About “Folks”," 27 Mar. 2020 Durack, an Australian who won a gold medal at the 1912 Olympics, or Matokie Slaughter, (1919-1999) an American clawhammer banjo player. Steven Litt, cleveland, "MOCA Cleveland celebrates folksy, outsider viewpoint of painter Margaret Kilgallen," 22 Feb. 2020 Bring your banjo, guitar, or fiddle to this celebration of old-time music at Hancock Shaker Village., "Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market," 14 June 2016 Corea’s stylistic versatility has seen him expertly perform with an array of jazz giants and symphony orchestras, as well as everyone from classical piano superstar Lang Lang and Cat Stevens to the rock band Foo Fighters and banjo marvel Béla Fleck. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Keyboard legend Chick Corea and rising star Gerald Clayton discuss their music and mutual admiration society," 29 Sep. 2019 The banjo has long been associated with folk and country music, an instrument whose twangy sound suggests a life of back-porch pleasures and homespun tradition. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Banjo Player Brings Folksy Flavor to Met Opera’s ‘Porgy and Bess’," 13 Feb. 2020 The group formed in 2013 with a slightly different lineup but a similar sound to what’s on display in the album, with galloping banjo and frenzied, punk-style ukulele. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, "Shoot Dangs’ debut album release promises foot-stomping and tomfoolery," 13 Feb. 2020 The Langer's Ball brings Irish folk-punk music, while April Flowers performs the banjo for school-age children. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "Arizona Renaissance Festival is an escape from modern life. Here's what's on tap this year," 3 Feb. 2020 Guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, harmonica, whistles, bodhrans, banjo and good humor are all part of the entertainment., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 30 Sep. 2019

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

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banjo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Apr. 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on banjo

Spanish Central: Translation of banjo

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

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