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[man-dl-in, man-dl-in] /ˈmæn dl ɪn, ˌmæn dlˈɪn/
a musical instrument with a pear-shaped wooden body and a fretted neck.
Origin of mandolin
1700-10; < Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola, variant of mandora, alteration of pandora bandore
Related forms
mandolinist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mandolin
Historical Examples
  • It was dreadful to leave her for the little time while the mandolin club was on the stage.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • Silly child, to start at a mandolin shaking his head and beard at you.

  • On his knee rested a mandolin which he had been strumming furiously for the past ten minutes.

  • Nasmyth rose and swept his knife-haft across the strings of the mandolin.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • Then she uncovered the mandolin and began to play on it, saying, "This is sound."

    The Montessori Method Maria Montessori
  • Each movement, though it ended in the air, seemed to affect the mandolin.

    The Shadow World Hamlin Garland
  • They had been sitting on a bench near Trophy Point, and one of them had been carelessly tinkling a mandolin.

    On Guard Upton Sinclair
  • Afterwards when Demaroni taught her the mandolin, it was just the same.

  • Did he ever play the mandolin under your window at midnight?

    Hepsey Burke Frank Noyes Westcott
  • She ran up the stairs and returned in a moment with the mandolin.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
British Dictionary definitions for mandolin


a plucked stringed instrument related to the lute, having four pairs of strings tuned in ascending fifths stretched over a small light body with a fretted fingerboard. It is usually played with a plectrum, long notes being sustained by the tremolo
a vegetable slicer consisting of a flat stainless-steel frame with adjustable cutting blades
Derived Forms
mandolinist, noun
Word Origin
C18: via French from Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandora lute, ultimately from Greek pandoura musical instrument with three strings
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 mandolin

1707, from French mandoline, from Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola, a larger kind of mandolin, altered from Late Latin pandura "three-stringed lute," from Greek pandoura, which is of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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