[uhng-kuh l]


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.

Nearby words

  1. unclamp,
  2. unclasp,
  3. unclassical,
  4. unclassified,
  5. unclassy,
  6. uncle remus,
  7. uncle sam,
  8. uncle tom,
  9. uncle tom's cabin,
  10. uncle tomism


    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

Examples from the Web for uncle

British Dictionary definitions for uncle



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 uncle


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with 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.