mandolin

noun

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 mandolin (audio)
ˈman-də-lən
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
mandolinist noun

Illustration of mandolin

Illustration of mandolin
  • mandolin 1

Examples of mandolin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The two most confusing objects in our kitchens appear to be the zester and the mandolin slicer. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2023 This is not the Thile who can make Bach arresting on the mandolin but rather turns more to his, and the mandolin’s, bluegrass roots as well as jazz. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 The mix of ethnicities is reflected in the music, with songs traditionally sung in Spanish and accompanied by instruments such as the cuatro—a four-stringed acoustic guitar—maracas, mandolins and a box bass. Melissa Noel, Essence, 18 Dec. 2023 The singer was joined by Lolly, who played the mandolin. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 19 Dec. 2023 The trio’s rendition is pretty faithful, with Julien Baker even breaking out a mandolin to match the original 1997 version. Nina Corcoran, Pitchfork, 18 Dec. 2023 The easiest way to get even and thin slices in a timely manner is a mandolin. Pam Lolley, Southern Living, 17 Dec. 2023 With just the Punisher singer on guitar and Baker on a mandolin, their gentle fingerpicking uplifted their tender, romantic vocals and made the song sound like one that could’ve fit seamlessly onto their debut album, the record. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 19 Dec. 2023 On the soulful track, Bridgers and Baker accompany the group’s harmonies with their guitar and mandolin (the instrument that was featured in the original version), respectively. Carita Rizzo, Rolling Stone, 19 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola

First Known Use

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mandolin was in 1707

Dictionary Entries Near mandolin

Cite this Entry

“Mandolin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandolin. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

mandolin

noun
man·​do·​lin ˌman-də-ˈlin How to pronounce mandolin (audio)
ˈman-dᵊl-ən
variants also mandoline
ˌman-də-ˈlēn How to pronounce mandolin (audio)
ˈman-dᵊl-ən
: a stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and four to six pairs of strings played by plucking

More from Merriam-Webster on mandolin

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