follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

ukulele

[yoo-kuh-ley-lee; Hawaiian. oo-koo-ley-ley] /ˌyu kəˈleɪ li; Hawaiian. ˌu kʊˈleɪ leɪ/
noun
1.
a small, guitarlike musical instrument associated chiefly with Hawaiian music.
Also, ukelele.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900, Americanism; < Hawaiian ʿukulele leaping flea (ʿuku flea + lele to jump, leap), a nickname given to British army officer Edward Purvis (who popularized the instrument at the court of King Kalakaua), in reference to his lively playing style
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for ukelele
  • On the other hand, a calf-high sock pulled ukelele-string-tight doesn't look so hot.
  • There were also several musical selections accompanied by ukelele.
British Dictionary definitions for ukelele

ukulele

/ˌjuːkəˈleɪlɪ/
noun
1.
a small four-stringed guitar, esp of Hawaii
Word Origin
C19: from Hawaiian, literally: jumping flea, from `uku flea + lele jumping
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ukelele

ukulele

n.

1896, from Hawaiian 'ukulele, literally "leaping flea," from 'uku "louse, flea" + lele "to fly, jump, leap." So called from the rapid motion of the fingers in playing it. It developed from a Portuguese instrument introduced to the islands c.1879.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
ukelele in Culture
ukulele [(yooh-kuh-lay-lee)]

A small guitar, developed in Hawaii, with four strings.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ukulele

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ukelele

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ukelele

Nearby words for ukelele