man·​do·​lin | \ˌman-də-ˈlin, ˈman-də-lən\
variants: or less commonly mandoline \ ˌman-​də-​ˈlēn , 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 \ noun

Examples of mandolin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This year’s top prize is a handmade Bourgeouis guitar, valued at $6,000, with a second place prize of an Eastern mandolin, and a Deering Good Time banjo for third prize. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Frankfort Bluegrass Festival continues to grow," 6 July 2018 Band members include Alex Berman on banjo and vocals, Ben Kolakowski on guitar and vocals, Alex Tocco on fiddle and vocals, Ryan Rogers on mandolin and Colin Rappa on bass fiddle. Susan Soldavin, Howard County Times, "Summer rocks with musical events and more [Clarksville]," 6 July 2018 In its early days, the band played mostly the country music circuit, where guitars, mandolins and fiddles dominated and drummers were generally shunned. Kurt Gottschalk, New York Times, "D.J. Fontana, 87, Elvis Presley’s Longtime Drummer, Is Dead," 14 June 2018 As a kid, Daniel Lofaro built instruments — a few guitars, some mandolins, other little things. Sarah Larimer, Washington Post, "How two GMU professors teamed up to create high-tech music," 18 Feb. 2018 Music will be provided by The Internationals, an accordion-mandolin duo with Eastern European roots, and there will be complimentary refreshments. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora Historical Society to hold party to highlight exhibit on ethnic diversity," 13 July 2018 And Sam Bush lends his mandolin skills to a pair of tracks. Phyllis Stark, Billboard, "Dierks Bentley on His Colorado-Inspired Album 'The Mountain': 'I'm Trying to Dig a Layer Deeper'," 8 June 2018 Music classes for drumming, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and other instruments. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Want to try something new? From climbing to comedy, check out these 10 classes," 27 Mar. 2018 Looking back, mandolin player Mike Guggino said the timing to start working with Martin was ideal for his group. Alan Sculley, sacbee, "Steep Canyon Rangers find perfect timing – with Steve Martin on tour, in the studio," 29 June 2018

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

The first known use of mandolin was in 1707

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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, ˈman-də-lən\

Kids Definition of mandolin

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

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