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 Nestled in a nook and flanked by fiddles, Terry O’Shea grips a banjo, and Tommy Sheridan clutches an accordion., "“If you link the survival of the pub to the survival of Irish-American ethnicity, the dilemma is how do you sustain ethnicity in the absence of immigration?” said Kenny.," 21 Sep. 2019 The repair bill for the iconic Charging Bull statue near Wall Street is estimated to run as high as $15,000 after a man attacked the statue over the weekend with a metal banjo. Chris Morris, Fortune, "A Man Attacked Wall Street’s ‘Charging Bull’ Statue With a Banjo and Repairing It Won’t Be Cheap," 11 Sep. 2019 Now The black influence on country music starts with the banjo, which often conjures the hazy image of a white pastoral South. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Black Artists Built Country Music—And Then It Left Them Behind," 11 Sep. 2019 Country music has never gotten the kind of comprehensive treatment that Ken Burns gives it in his latest documentary which traces its roots back to America's coming of age from the fiddlers and the banjo players to Jimmie Rodgers and his yodeling. CBS News, "Ken Burns explores the true roots of country music in new documentary," 14 Sep. 2019 The other nominees are steel guitarist Paul Franklin, banjo player/guitarist Ilya Toshinsky and guitarist Derek Wells. Paul Grein, Billboard, "5 Women Who Are Kicking it in 2019 CMA Nominations," 3 Sep. 2019 Between the acts, Grammy Award winning banjo player Run Sluga filled in the voids. Joan Rusek,, "Neighborhood talent show mixes fashion, talent and rain for back to school send-off: Valley Views," 23 Aug. 2019 Anne’s brother, Brad Bulla, joined them, playing mandolin, lead guitar, and banjo along with the Byrds’ vocals. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Chapter Five: The Remnant," 20 July 2019 The gallery is an interactive telling of the Bristol Sessions through images and artifacts, including relevant instruments like the fiddle, banjo, harp guitar, guitar, kazoo and jaw harp, as well as film and music. Colleen Creamer, New York Times, "In Southern Appalachia, Searching for the ‘Big Bang’ of Country Music," 19 Aug. 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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Statistics for banjo

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for banjo

The first known use of banjo was in 1739

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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

Comments on banjo

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to engage in dissolute behavior

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