uncle

[ uhng-kuh l ]
/ ˈʌŋ kəl /

noun

a brother of one's father or mother.
an aunt's husband.
a familiar title or term of address for any elderly man.
Slang. a pawnbroker.
(initial capital letter) Informal. Uncle Sam.
a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter U.

Idioms

    say/cry uncle, Informal. to concede defeat: They ganged up on him in the schoolyard and made him say uncle.

Origin of uncle

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French uncle, Old French oncle < Latin avunculus mother's brother, equivalent to av(us) mother's father + -unculus suffix extracted from diminutives of n-stems (see homunculus)
Related formsun·cle·less, adjectiveun·cle·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for say uncle

uncle

/ (ˈʌŋkəl) /

noun

a brother of one's father or mother
the husband of one's aunt
a term of address sometimes used by children for a male friend of their parents
slang a pawnbroker
Related formsRelated adjective: avuncular

Word Origin for uncle

C13: from Old French oncle, from Latin avunculus; related to Latin 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

Word Origin and History for say uncle

uncle


n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with say uncle (1 of 2)

say uncle


see cry uncle.

Idioms and Phrases with say uncle (2 of 2)

uncle


see cry uncle; Dutch uncle.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.