Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ban-joh] /ˈbæn dʒoʊ/
noun, plural banjos, banjoes.
a musical instrument of the guitar family, having a circular body covered in front with tightly stretched parchment and played with the fingers or a plectrum.
Origin of banjo
Jamaican English
Brazilian Portuguese
1730-40; compare Jamaican English banja, bonjour, bangil, Brazilian Portuguese banza; probably of African orig.; compare Kimbundu mbanza a plucked string instrument
Related forms
banjoist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for banjoist
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for banjoist


noun (pl) -jos, -joes
a stringed musical instrument with a long neck (usually fretted) and a circular drumlike body overlaid with parchment, plucked with the fingers or a plectrum
(slang) any banjo-shaped object, esp a frying pan
(Austral & NZ, slang) a long-handled shovel with a wide blade
(modifier) banjo-shaped: a banjo clock
Derived Forms
banjoist, noun
Word Origin
C18: variant (US Southern pronunciation) of bandore
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 banjoist



1764, American English, usually described as of African origin, probably akin to Bantu mbanza, an instrument resembling a banjo. The word has been influenced by colloquial pronunciation of bandore (1560s in English), a 16c. stringed instrument like a lute and an ancestor (musically and linguistically) of mandolin; from Portuguese bandurra, from Latin pandura, from Greek pandoura "three-stringed instrument." The origin and influence might be the reverse of what is here described.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
banjoist in Culture

banjo definition

A stringed musical instrument, played by plucking (see strings). The banjo has a percussive sound and is much used in folk music and bluegrass music.

The 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

Nearby words for banjoist

Word Value for banjoist

Scrabble Words With Friends