uku·​le·​le | \ ˌyü-kə-ˈlā-lē How to pronounce ukulele (audio) , ˌü-\
variants: or less commonly ukelele

Definition of ukulele

: a small guitar of Portuguese origin popularized in Hawaii in the 1880s and strung typically with four strings

Illustration of ukulele

Illustration of ukulele

Examples of ukulele in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dolph played ukulele, and Rosemary sang popular ballads., "Adolph R. Fusco," 15 Aug. 2019 This one-stop shopping destination for homemade music-making sells guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins, harmonicas, and even ukuleles. David Lyon,, "Simpler, gentler: A journey through the eastern N.H. hinterlands," 13 Aug. 2019 Guitar center will be out there with a little area set up to teach kids how to play drums and ukulele. Jennifer Bolton, Houston Chronicle, "September art market set for Houston’s Energy Corridor," 13 Aug. 2019 Williams sang and played the ukulele while Gabbard offered some sweet harmonizing. Washington Post, "Pete Buttigieg plays the didgeridoo and other unexpected musical talents of the 2020 candidates," 7 Aug. 2019 The mandolele is great for people who trained classically but want to play ukulele. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Creating learning and growth with Guitars in the Classroom," 22 June 2019 Included are fun musical instruments and components, such as ukuleles, banjos, a drum machine, a portable keyboard, a karaoke machine and music kits for kids. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Westlake Porter Public Library offers an outstanding collection of non-traditional items," 21 July 2019 The group consists of Laura Hall, a singer/songwriter, who plays guitar, accordion, and ukulele; her husband Rick Hall, a singer, bassist, and harmonica player; and singer/songwriter/guitarist Kelly Macleod. Myrna Petlicki,, "Sweet Potatoes to dish up country/folk fare in Metropolis show," 25 June 2019 Coolest Emerging Act: The Raelyn Nelson band is led by Willie’s granddaughter, a ukulele-wielding hellraiser whose sound blends country, punk, and garage rock. Blake Ryan, Billboard, "A Guide to Summer Music Festival Season 2019," 24 June 2019

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

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ukulele

Hawaiian ʽukulele, from ʽuku flea + lele jumping

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Statistics for ukulele

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for ukulele

The first known use of ukulele was in 1896

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More Definitions for ukulele



English Language Learners Definition of ukulele

: a musical instrument that is like a small guitar with four strings


uku·​le·​le | \ ˌyü-kə-ˈlā-lē How to pronounce ukulele (audio) \

Kids Definition of ukulele

: a musical instrument like a small guitar with four strings

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More from Merriam-Webster on ukulele

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ukulele

Spanish Central: Translation of ukulele

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

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