un·​cle ˈəŋ-kəl How to pronounce uncle (audio)
: the brother of one's father or mother
: the husband of one's aunt or uncle
: one who helps, advises, or encourages
used as a cry of surrender
was forced to cry uncle
capitalized : uncle sam

Examples of uncle in a Sentence

I have three uncles and two aunts. My Uncle David is visiting next week.
Recent Examples on the Web Suazo Sandoval’s nephew, Hector Guardado, had previously told The Washington Post that the family hoped to bring his uncle’s body back to his hometown in Honduras for a burial there. Teo Armus, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 Tijuana Congressman Sammy Peña, uncle of Villarreal, thanked all the agencies and community members who helped during the search. Alexandra Mendoza, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Apr. 2024 Not long after landing in Benghazi, Matar pays a visit to Mahmoud, an uncle who had been incarcerated in the Abu Salim prison together with his father. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 The city’s administrative manual includes a broad definition for relatives — everyone from a parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, child, step-child, grandchild, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, aunt, uncle or first cousin — but doesn’t prevent someone from hiring a relative. Sierra Lopez, The Mercury News, 3 Apr. 2024 Membership is also open to direct lineal descendants or siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins of those previously enrolled in the tribe. Jose R. Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 30 Mar. 2024 Perhaps your granddaughters asked you to talk about their dad and their uncle’s relationship, expressing curiosity about the fight that led to the estrangement. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, 28 Mar. 2024 And Hank was buried on top of his paternal uncle, who died at age 26 in a car accident. Gina Kolata Kim Raff, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson will make his screen debut playing his uncle in the film, while 9-year-old Juliano Krue Valdi will portray the King of Pop from his early days in the Jackson 5. Colman Domingo and Nia Long will play family heads Joe and Katherine Jackson. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 25 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'uncle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin avunculus mother's brother; akin to Old English ēam uncle, Welsh ewythr, Latin avus grandfather

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of uncle was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near uncle

Cite this Entry

“Uncle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uncle. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​cle ˈəŋ-kəl How to pronounce uncle (audio)
: the brother of one's father or mother
: the husband of one's aunt

More from Merriam-Webster on uncle

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