man·​do·​lin | \ ˌman-də-ˈlin How to pronounce mandolin (audio) , ˈman-də-lən \
variants: or less commonly mandoline \ ˌman-​də-​ˈlēn How to pronounce mandoline (audio) , ˈman-​də-​lən \

Definition of mandolin

1 : a musical instrument of the lute family that has a usually pear-shaped body and fretted neck and four to six pairs of strings
2 usually mandoline [French, from Italian mandolino mandolin] : a kitchen utensil with a blade for slicing and shredding

Illustration of mandolin

Illustration of mandolin

mandolin 1

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Other Words from mandolin

mandolinist \ ˌman-​də-​ˈli-​nist How to pronounce mandolinist (audio) \ noun

Examples of mandolin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead of balalaikas, violins, guitar, and mandolins, today’s geographically distributed band of musical Pearlsteins plays guitar, piano, and sings from homes in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Joanna Pearlstein, Wired, "How We'll Learn to Sing Together When We're Far Apart," 16 May 2020 The Travelin’ McCourys includes his sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Preview Picks: Rex Orange County, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ and more," 18 Feb. 2020 Members of the band include Joe Lemeris, banjo; Bill Reveley, mandolin and fiddle; Marilyn Toback-Reveley, rhythm guitar; Joe Delillo, upright bass, and Tim St. Jean, mandolin, guitar, fiddle and concertina., "Community News For The Windham Edition," 15 Nov. 2019 The camera was in Griffiths’ backyard, so Berry had to position himself so his face and mandolin could be seen through the hole made by the two missing planks. Steve Rubenstein,, "On the bright side: Two San Francisco neighbors fight coronavirus blues with music," 14 Apr. 2020 Wash the zucchini, remove the ends, slice them finely with the help of a knife or mandolin. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "18 Italian Hotel Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes to Help You Get a Taste of Italy at Home," 6 Apr. 2020 Formed in 2019, Saving Grace features Plant and newcomers Suzi Dian (vocals) and Oli Jefferson (percussion) and industry veterans Tony Kelsey (mandolin, baritone and acoustic guitar) and Matt Worley (banjo, cuatro and acoustic and baritone guitars). Gary Dinges, USA TODAY, "Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant hitting the road with new band Saving Grace," 3 Mar. 2020 The pair perform on instruments ranging from guitar, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, and mandolin to tin whistle, harmonica, and limberjacks, and surprise audiences with their interpretation of freestyle Appalachian clog dancing. Robert Knox,, "What’s happening south of Boston," 5 Feb. 2020 In addition to musical acts, the festival will include workshops on guitar, fiddle, banjo, ukulele and mandolin, as well as dance instructors teaching hula, square dance, swing and two-step. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Taj Mahal & Peter Rowan to Headline Hawaii's Debut Kauai Folk Festival," 4 June 2019

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

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mandolin

Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola

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Time Traveler for mandolin

Time Traveler

The first known use of mandolin was in 1707

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Statistics for mandolin

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mandolin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for mandolin


How to pronounce mandolin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mandolin

: a small musical instrument that has a long neck, a body that is shaped like a pear, and usually four pairs of strings


man·​do·​lin | \ ˌman-də-ˈlin How to pronounce mandolin (audio) , ˈman-də-lən \

Kids Definition of mandolin

: a musical instrument with four pairs of strings played by plucking

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More from Merriam-Webster on mandolin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mandolin

Spanish Central: Translation of mandolin

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

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