Ukulele definition

yo͝okə-lālē, o͝okə-
Frequency:
A small four-stringed guitar popularized in Hawaii.
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A small, four-stringed, guitarlike musical instrument introduced from Portugal into the Hawaiian Islands about 1879
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(music) A small four-stringed guitar.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
ukulele
Plural:
ukuleles

Origin of ukulele

  • Hawaiian ‘ukulele probably from ‘uku lele jumping flea (perhaps in reference to the movement of the fingers when playing the instrument) ‘uku louse, flea (from Proto-Polynesian kutu louse) lele to fly, jump (from Proto-Polynesian lele)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Hawaiian Ê»ukulele, from Ê»uku (“flea") + lele (“jump, jumping")

    From Wiktionary