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[uh-vuhng-kyuh-ler] /əˈvʌŋ kyə lər/
of, relating to, or characteristic of an uncle:
avuncular affection.
Origin of avuncular
1825-35; < Latin avuncul(us) a mother's brother, equivalent to av(us) a forefather + *-ont- + *-l(os) diminutive suffix (cf. uncle) + -ar1
Related forms
avuncularity, noun
avuncularly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for avuncular
  • In his place is a jolly, avuncular leader, seen playing with his grandchildren and appearing on lighter chat shows.
  • He is alternately avuncular and strident, cajoling and threatening.
  • His interest in them is supposed to be avuncular and pure.
  • His demeanor is commanding, with a practiced avuncular charm.
  • It is not surprising that history's great villains often appear kind and avuncular.
  • His avuncular manner goes down well in a country shaken by three years of non-stop politicking.
  • He's warm and avuncular, the kind of guy who welcomes dogs and children in the office.
  • Examples are affected sibling, cousin, and avuncular pairs.
British Dictionary definitions for avuncular


of or concerned with an uncle
resembling an uncle; friendly; helpful
Word Origin
C19: from Latin avunculus (maternal) uncle, diminutive of avus grandfather
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for avuncular

1789, from Latin avunculus "maternal uncle," diminutive of avus (see uncle) + -ar. Used humorously for "of a pawnbroker" (uncle was slang for "pawnbroker" from c.1600 through 19c.).

My only good suit is at present under the avuncular protection. ["Fraser's Magazine," 1832]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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