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 \

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

Other Words from mandolin

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

Examples of mandolin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Monroe took his own Gibson F-5 mandolin off his shoulder and put it on Skaggs. Matt Wake |, al, 25 June 2022 Abandoning their former instruments for something more folk-rock-friendly, Seals took up the guitar and Crofts learned the mandolin. Chris Willman, Variety, 7 June 2022 While his father worked in Portsmouth, young Leonard learned farming and hunting as well as playing mandolin and calling square dances. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 19 June 2022 Not just any bread though: the star is a wafer-thin flatbread studded with herbs and mandolin-thin slices of vegetables, like fossils set in amber. Liam Hess, Vogue, 11 May 2022 The instrumental intro brought an additional twist, with Bunetta blending a mandolin, a piano played in octaves and couple of electric guitar notes to build a compact line that uses a portion of the chorus melody to introduce the song. Tom Roland, Billboard, 10 May 2022 Like David, the mandolin-playing Zippi, a Slovak, was a young musical prodigy, the only child performing with the Czechoslovak Radio Orchestra. Alissa Simon, Variety, 2 May 2022 Classical piano virtuoso by Lisa Weiss, klezmer and jazz woodwind by Seth Kibel, mandolin by Joel-Michael-Schwartz, and hammered dulcimer player and old-time fiddle by Ken Kolodner. John Coffren, Baltimore Sun, 21 Apr. 2022 The band transformed the late-night show’s stage into a fanciful forest, complete with a creepy mandolin-playing rabbit and frontman Rivers Cuomo sporting a pair of pointy elf ears. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of mandolin was in 1707

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mandolin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mandolin


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

More from Merriam-Webster on mandolin

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


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