[ man-dl-in, man-dl-in ]

  1. 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 pandorabandore

Other words from mandolin

  • man·do·lin·ist, noun

Words Nearby mandolin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mandolin in a sentence

  • The third type is the relatively recent paddle-style mandolin.

    The Chef's Secret Weapon | Chad Ward | November 3, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • And not only that, but Mr. Florance offered me a singing part in his new drama, if I could play the mandolin.

    The Regent | E. Arnold Bennett
  • He laid the mandolin down on the ground, and began staring with a peculiarly sad expression at the dying fire.

    Carmen | Prosper Merimee
  • After Mrs. Tellamantez died, Johnny abandoned his trade and went out with his mandolin to pick up a living for one.

    Song of the Lark | Willa Cather
  • I would much rather play with this little baby (taking up a mandolin which she had dressed up in a table cover).

    The Montessori Method | Maria Montessori
  • The cook had seated himself decorously and was holding the mandolin in position.

    Atlantis | Gerhart Hauptmann

British Dictionary definitions for mandolin



/ (ˌmændəˈlɪn) /

  1. 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

  2. a vegetable slicer consisting of a flat stainless-steel frame with adjustable cutting blades

Origin of mandolin

C18: via French from Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandora lute, ultimately from Greek pandoura musical instrument with three strings

Derived forms of mandolin

  • mandolinist, noun

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