bou·​zou·​ki bü-ˈzü-kē How to pronounce bouzouki (audio)
plural bouzoukis also bouzoukia bü-ˈzü-kē-ə How to pronounce bouzouki (audio)
: a long-necked stringed instrument of Greek origin that resembles a mandolin

Examples of bouzouki in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Near the end of February, the overhead bins on flights from Ireland to the U.S. start filling up with fiddles and bouzoukis, as Irish traditional musicians make their seasonal migration across the Atlantic to play during what the players themselves sometimes call St. Patrick’s Month. Robert Sullivan, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 Farmers come from the countryside around Athens to sell their produce while small groups of musicians busk with bouzouki music. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 Kevin Burke, Nuala Kennedy, and Eamon O’Leary: County Louth songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nuala Kennedy and Dublin guitarist and bouzouki player Eamon O’Leary have performed widely together as a duo and in the trio The Alt. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, 6 Mar. 2024 This is heartfelt balladry spotlighting his almost lute-like virtuosity on guitar (both 6- and 12-string) and bouzouki (delicate, fragile, nothing Zorba-esque) and his mix of melancholy and introspection embodied in his earthy singing. Steve Hochman, SPIN, 3 Jan. 2024 Accompanied by bassist Brandon Rauch and drummer Beth Goodfellow, Schloss’ guitar and bouzouki playing was even more mind-blowing and dynamic, his voice even earthier, more expressive than on the records. Steve Hochman, SPIN, 3 Jan. 2024 This is the second day ever in his life that Chris has played bouzouki! Chris Willman, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 Attendees can learn dances and follow along to the music of the bouzouki. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Aug. 2023 The group features co-founders Robin Jones (vocals, banjo and bouzouki) and Tomos Williams (guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion), along with recent addition Polly Bolton (vocals, mandolin, bouzouki and banjo). George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bouzouki.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Modern Greek mpouzouki

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bouzouki was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near bouzouki

Cite this Entry

“Bouzouki.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on bouzouki

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!