Definition of ukulele in English:

ukulele

(also ukelele)

noun

  • A small four-stringed guitar of Hawaiian origin.

    • ‘This Web site replicates a complete manual for self-instruction on both the ukulele and its cousin the banjo ukulele, circa 1914.’
    • ‘In fact, Harrison's love for Hawaii, where he had a house for many years, shows through in the rhythmic ukulele strums that form many of the songs' foundations.’
    • ‘Armed only with a piano, ukulele and bass guitar, this down-to-earth and charming performer looks set to create an intimate and highly charged atmosphere on her solo tour.’
    • ‘The ukulele, the Hawaiian gift that enlivened vaudeville halls across North America and Europe in the early 20th century, has two exemplars in a glass case, next to a paragraph of dry information.’
    • ‘But in his obscurity he's free to make sparse use of gentle wurring noises and allow intermittent glitches to engulf the beauty of his ukulele and string-laden folk songs.’
    • ‘On the instrument respect scale, Casio keyboards have got to be pretty darn close to the bottom - somewhere around guitars with built-in amplifiers and ukuleles.’
    • ‘They've grown up and want us to realise it; this album is more low key and features an impressive array of instruments including a ukulele, zithers, brass and strings.’
    • ‘It's just like the difference in tone between a ukulele and a guitar.’
    • ‘Thus the guitar-banjo has six strings tuned like a guitar; the banjulele or ukulele-banjo is tuned like the ukulele; the mandolin-banjo is tuned like a mandolin, and so on.’
    • ‘John also plays a mean harmonica, guitar, ukulele, tambourine, cymbals, as well as all the bells and whistles.’
    • ‘A great friend of mine bought his granny a ukulele: a four-stringed guitar.’
    • ‘Featuring Simpson's virtuosity on guitar, banjo and ukulele, this collection of songs and tunes, mainly recorded in New Orleans, is a homage to the American South.’
    • ‘A thousand attics and flea markets must have been raided to yield the album's menagerie of castaway ukuleles, autoharps, Marxophones, Aqualins and peck horns.’
    • ‘Sitake also plays guitar, ukulele, harmonica, and trumpet, and has recorded a compact disc mixing Tongan and western music.’
    • ‘Designed to sound as though a real riot was going on while it was being recorded, this 1967 cover of the Elvis classic is so thrillingly unhinged, you won't even notice the ukulele and accordion.’
    • ‘The homespun girl trio weaves melodies in and out on guitar, mandolin, harmonica, ukulele and banjo as vocals float across each note.’
    • ‘While trying to incorporate such a wide range of influences could result in an utter mess, trying to incorporate these influences into, say, a three-minute pop song with a ukulele yields much more contained, interesting results.’
    • ‘The extraordinary dexterity he shows on the oud, the grandfather of the guitar/banjo / ukulele etc, recalls masters like Paco Pena and Jimi Hendrix.’
    • ‘One of the most well-known Polynesian musical instruments is the Hawaiian ukulele.’
    • ‘Contemporary Hawaiian music is characterized by slack key guitar, ukulele, and themes particular to Hawaii such as Hawaiian sovereignty and native Hawaiian values.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from Hawaiian, literally jumping flea.

Pronunciation:

ukulele

/ˌyo͞okəˈlālē/