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 The family fled with just a pair of bags and a ukulele. Mary Pflum, NBC News, 21 May 2022 Armed with a ukulele and a goofy smile, Gosling is Dean, a house painter settled in Pennsylvania. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 12 Feb. 2022 The ukulele was a worldwide hit, selling by the millions in the U.S. alone before World War II. Peter Weber, The Week, 1 Oct. 2018 Other inventions, which never quite succeeded, included a sailboat with an adjustable mast, a dirigible, a fiberglass ukulele and a solid-foam football, with grooves in the surface., 17 Oct. 2021 Joining the crew onboard will be 66 pounds of hops that will later be used by Sam Adams to brew the Inspiration4 mission's official beer, plus a ukulele played by Sembroski in space, and a TIME magazine cover of the Crew Dragon crew. Greta Bjornson,, 15 Sep. 2021 Items will include a ukulele that Sembroski will play in space and 66 pounds of beer hops. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 15 Sep. 2021 But every night at dusk, Sophie took out her ukulele, and the family of four sat in the fading light and together began to sing. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 Chris Sembroski, a father of two and an engineer at Lockheed Martin, played a ukulele. Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for ukulele

Time Traveler

The first known use of ukulele was in 1896

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Statistics for ukulele

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ukulele.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ukulele


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

More from Merriam-Webster on ukulele

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


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