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 Clubs like the Twin Cities ukulele club, an informal group of about 300 people, have welcomed many people discovering music for the first time, or finding it again. Anchorage Daily News, "‘A better time than any’: Finding joy in music lessons, jams," 24 Nov. 2020 Yuni started using his ukulele to serenade his girlfriend at the most inopportune times and sharing her reaction with his TikTok followers. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Meet the singer taking TikTok by storm by annoying his girlfriend in the most endearing way," 15 Nov. 2020 Tiny Tim parlayed his androgynous appearance and old tunes strummed on a ukulele into a media powerhouse, appearing on virtually every TV variety and talk show. David Morgan, CBS News, "DOC NYC documentary film festival goes online," 11 Nov. 2020 Deschanel perfectly encapsulated the cliché as the ukulele-playing Ikea adventurer who wants anything but to fall in love with Joseph Gordon Levitt. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "The ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ Isn’t Dead—She Has Just Evolved," 25 Aug. 2020 Described as a gentle and sweet boy by his siblings, Herbert K. Pilila’au was an independent 22-year-old Hawaii native who enjoyed classical music, singing, and playing his ukulele. Matt Fratus, Field & Stream, "The Stories Behind 7 Infamous U.S. Military Knives," 19 Aug. 2020 Wearing a set of Minnie Mouse ears, McHugh Stamos, 33, strummed on a ukulele while Stamos — also clad in Disney-themed gear — played on his guitar as the two start to sing. Claudia Harmata,, "John Stamos' 2-Year-Old Son Gets Emotional Before Kissing The Beatles Goodnight: 'Ringo!'," 30 July 2020 Dalvin Tomlinson spent the offseason trying to learn a new defensive playbook and how to play the ukulele. Mark Inabinett |, al, "New York Giants’ Dalvin Tomlinson learning ukulele, new playbook," 29 June 2020 And who can forget the sweet sound of a ukulele flowing through the hallways? Taylor Mcclung,, "How we’ve grown — and grown together — in four years," 10 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for ukulele

Time Traveler

The first known use of ukulele was in 1896

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Statistics for ukulele

Last Updated

2 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ukulele.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for ukulele


How to pronounce ukulele (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ukulele

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

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