- 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.
- say/cry uncle, Informal. to concede defeat: They ganged up on him in the schoolyard and made him say uncle.
Origin of uncle
Examples from the Web for uncle
Same with my uncle and cousins when their planes landed from Vietnam.A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall
December 29, 2014
The young Jordanian pilot comes from a well-known military family in the kingdom and his uncle is a retired major general.Did ISIS Shoot Down a Fighter Jet?
Jamie Dettmer, Christopher Dickey
December 24, 2014
It reminds me of an uncle of mine who said the London Blitz was irritating.Why Can’t Movies Capture Genius?
December 14, 2014
The uncle told RTL radio Hauchard called his grandmother, ostensibly from Syria, on Nov. 2, for her birthday.Showing the Faces of Its Murderers, ISIS Shows Its Global Reach
November 18, 2014
“They were wonderful cooks and had beautiful daughters,” says my uncle.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
Uncle Peter stood in a flood of light at the door of his room.
In the simpler phrasing of Uncle Peter Bines, he will "cut loose."
But Uncle Peter had already put in some hard winters, and was not wanting in fortitude.
He was busy almost half an hour, while Uncle Peter smoked in silence.
When he came out ten minutes later Uncle Peter was waiting for him alone.
- 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
Word Origin and History for uncle
late 13c., from Old French oncle, from Latin avunculus "mother's brother," literally "little grandfather," diminutive of avus "grandfather," from PIE root *awo- "grandfather, adult male relative other than one's father" (cf. Armenian hav "grandfather," Lithuanian avynas "maternal uncle," Old Church Slavonic uji "uncle," Welsh ewythr "uncle").
Replaced Old English eam (usually maternal; paternal uncle was fædera), which represents the Germanic form of the root (cf. Dutch oom, Old High German oheim "maternal uncle," German Ohm "uncle").
Also from French are German, Danish, Swedish onkel. First record of Dutch uncle (and his blunt, stern, benevolent advice) is from 1838; Welsh uncle (1747) was the first cousin of one's parent. To say uncle as a sign of submission in a fight is North American, attested from 1909, of uncertain signification.
Idioms and Phrases with uncle
see cry uncle; Dutch uncle.