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 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 The Interactive Garage also features an acoustic lounge with soft leather seating, where visitors can hop on acoustic guitars and ukuleles for pop-up group jams. Troy L. Smith,, "Rock Hall’s $2 million ‘Interactive Garage’ set to wow visitors," 27 June 2019 Encourage those who play an instrument like a guitar or ukulele to accompany the group as everyone waves small flags in their hands while singing. Donna Erickson, Twin Cities, "Donna Erickson: Fun Fourth of July activities inspired by the flag," 27 June 2019 Tatum, a 15-year-old sister, picked up her ukulele. Jan Hoffman, New York Times, "Who Can Adopt a Native American Child? A Texas Couple vs. 573 Tribes," 5 June 2019 Wasilla’s Debbie Simpson stopped by on her lunch break with ukulele bandmate Wendy Luft of Eagle River. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Eagle River’s only music store is going out of business after 25 years," 5 June 2019 All guest rooms come equipped with a record player and ukulele, as well as a roll of butcher paper and colored pencils, just in case the surroundings inspire guests. Lori Rackl,, "Milwaukee's new Saint Kate arts hotel has a theater troupe, museum gallery and a room full of leopard spots," 4 June 2019 Locals fill a community’s streets with music On 2007, a sunny spring day in Ithaca lured Lesley Greene and her husband, Robbert, to strum their ukuleles on their front porch. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of ukulele

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ukulele

Hawaiian ʽukulele, from ʽuku flea + lele jumping

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ukulele

Dictionary Entries near ukulele








Statistics for ukulele

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ukulele

The first known use of ukulele was in 1896

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on ukulele

What made you want to look up ukulele? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!