Definition of banjo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbanjō/

noun (plural banjos or banjoes)

Image of banjo
1A stringed musical instrument with a long neck and a round open-backed body consisting of parchment stretched over a metal hoop like a tambourine, played by plucking or with a plectrum. It is used especially in American folk music.
Example sentences
  • Baxter is probably best known as the ace pedal steel, banjo, dobro, guitar, all-'round musical utility guy for Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Ryan Adams.
  • Strings, guitars, banjo, tambourine, French horn, harp, clarinet, accordion, drums and chanting contribute to Arcade Fire's intensely deep but totally palatable fusion of sounds.
  • Musically, the album isn't afraid of drawing on different instruments, from mouth organs to banjos, to acoustic guitars and piano.
1.1An object resembling a banjo in shape: [as modifier]: a banjo clock
More example sentences
  • The variant of the Willard patent banjo clock shown in Plates IX and IXa is inscribed ‘DANIEL / MUNROE’ on the lower glass.
  • Dating from between about 1795 and 1800, it has a dial signed by David Wood of Newbusyport, Massachusetts, who also made tall-case and banjo clocks.
  • Positively sealed by O-rings, the banjo design allows 360 degrees rotation of the regular for ideal positioning.



Pronunciation: /ˈbanjōəst/
Example sentences
  • The son of noted artist George Grosz, Marty is a 74-year-old vocalist, guitarist and banjoist, and these are two feel-good CDs from 1995 and 2000-01, respectively.
  • Even former band member, banjoist Alison Brown, doesn't get a look in on the track she co-wrote with Krauss, ‘This Sad Song’.
  • An accomplished fiddler / banjoist / guitarist, he also played a number of instrumentals for the appreciative crowd.


Mid 18th century: originally a black American alteration of earlier bandore; probably based on Greek pandoura 'three-stringed lute'. Compare with bandora.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ban·jo

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