un·​cle | \ ˈəŋ-kəl How to pronounce uncle (audio) \

Definition of uncle

1a : the brother of one's father or mother
b : the husband of one's aunt or uncle
2 : one who helps, advises, or encourages
3 used as a cry of surrenderwas forced to cry uncle
4 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 In two days Toson Knight of Detroit lost his mother, Angela; aunt, and uncle, two of them to COVID-19. Alvin Thomas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Black men and boys are especially vulnerable to mental health challenges because of coronavirus and police violence," 18 June 2020 Loftus, a flight attendant visiting an aunt and uncle who live in Ira, kept his distance from the group, and organizers handed him trash bags and sent him on his way. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Vermont borders states with major covid-19 outbreaks, but you won’t find that here," 18 June 2020 His uncle, James Starley, had developed the penny-farthing in the 1870s. National Geographic, "How bicycles transformed our world," 17 June 2020 Grant’s uncle, Cephus Johnson, became incensed after a video of these statements circulated on social media. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Family of Oscar Grant calls on BART director to step down," 16 June 2020 The day after my uncle's murder, his oldest daughter said for her father, in her birthday dress, to come and take her skating. NBC News, "Rayshard Brooks' wife says she can't watch video of his killing: 'I'm already in enough pain'," 15 June 2020 An uncle gave him the complete works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, a black poet who wrote in Negro dialect. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "IU's Greg Bell 'came out of nowhere' to win Olympic gold, then spent 50 years in dentistry," 13 June 2020 At Thursday's memorial service in Minneapolis, George Floyd's nephew recalled his uncle's love of sports and affinity for NBA superstar LeBron James. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "George Floyd's nephew: 'He was the biggest LeBron James fan'," 5 June 2020 Letters with donations continue to come from as far away as New York and California, with contributions usually given in memory of a father, uncle, grandfather or brother or sister. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Outpouring of support rescues Pearland VFW post," 5 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uncle.' 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 uncle

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

History and Etymology for uncle

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

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Time Traveler for uncle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for uncle

Last Updated

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Uncle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uncle. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce uncle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of uncle

: the brother of your father or mother or the husband of your aunt
US, informal used as a word that you say when you are being hurt in a fight to show that you admit being defeated and do not want to continue fighting


un·​cle | \ ˈəŋ-kəl How to pronounce uncle (audio) \

Kids Definition of uncle

1 : the brother of a person's father or mother
2 : the husband of a person's aunt

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More from Merriam-Webster on uncle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with uncle

Spanish Central: Translation of uncle

Nglish: Translation of uncle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uncle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about uncle

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