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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for avuncular
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My secretary had been elevated to avuncular rank after a probation of just three hours.

    The Right Stuff Ian Hay
  • The bitterness of the avuncular factions was now intensified.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • I do not wish to speak of Jennie in a fatherly or avuncular manner.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • You must write to me or I shall withdraw my avuncular relation to you.

  • She liked his avuncular, slightly quizzical attitude to them.


    Arnold Bennett
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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