[ uhng-kuh l ]
/ ˈʌŋ kəl /
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.
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Question 1 of 10
Idioms for uncle
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)
OTHER WORDS FROM uncleun·cle·less, adjectiveun·cle·ship, noun
Words nearby uncle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for say uncle
/ (ˈʌŋkəl) /
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
Other words from uncleRelated 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
Idioms and Phrases with say uncle (1 of 2)
see cry uncle.
Idioms and Phrases with say uncle (2 of 2)
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.