uku·le·le | \ ˌyü-kə-ˈlā-lē , 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

Stephanie Vo-Nguyen of Madison High School is a senior who loves singing and playing the ukulele. Lizzy Acker,, "2018 Rose Festival Queen is Kiara Johnson of Parkrose High," 9 June 2018 The characters play the piano and other instruments including guitar and ukulele during the show. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Marriott Theatre's 'Pinkalicious:' Silly, but honest," 11 July 2018 Yes, prison ukuleles are available and make a thoughtful souvenir for friends and family back home. Christopher Muther,, "Cook Islands: The tropical paradise you need to visit before everyone else does," 13 June 2018 Bieber dates a model named Baskin Champion; Gomez flaunts post-breakup ukulele. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "A Comprehensive Timeline Of Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber’s Relationship," 9 July 2018 Finally, the artist swan-songed with an eight-pack of piano-banjo-ukulele strummed solos, Mac originals that wistfully pondered all that had come before. Jonathan Takiff,, "Taylor Mac: The drag queen who could change your life," 11 June 2018 The actors double as the band, playing piano, violin, melodica, a small trap drum, cymbals, washboard, trombone and a slew of kazoos and ukuleles. Christopher Arnott,, "A Coarse, Cacophonous, Compelling 'Cabaret' In New Haven," 26 June 2018 On YouTube, the clip of 12-year-old Grace belting away while playing her signature ukulele has earned more than 83 million views. Rubi Jones, Teen Vogue, "Grace VanderWaal Creates the Soundtrack to Her Life," 19 June 2018 And don’t aggravate the artist’s hyperacusis, a hearing disorder in which ordinary sounds can be painful, and the reason that Merritt switched from guitar to ukulele and Gonson from drums to piano. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, "Stephin Merritt Unpacks His Peripatetic Past," 11 June 2018

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

2 Sep 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of ukulele

: a musical instrument like a small guitar with four strings

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