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Webster 1913 Edition


Uncle

Un′cle

,
Noun.
[OE.
uncle
, OF.
oncle
,
uncle
, F.
oncle
, fr. L.
avunculus
a maternal uncle, dim. of
avus
a grandfather; akin to Lith.
avynas
uncle, Goth.
aw[GREEK]
grandmother, Icel.
āi
great grandfather.]
1.
The brother of one’s father or mother; also applied to an aunt's husband; – the correlative of aunt in sex, and of nephew and niece in relationship.
2.
A pawnbroker.
[Slang]
Thackeray.
My uncle
,
a pawnbroker.
[Slang]
Uncle Sam
,
a humorous appellation given to the United States Government. See
Uncle Sam
, in Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.

Webster 1828 Edition


Uncle

UN'CLE

,
Noun.
[L. avunculus.] The brother of one's father or mother.

Definition 2022


uncle

uncle

English

Noun

uncle (plural uncles)

  1. The brother or brother-in-law of one’s parent.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter I”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      And it was while all were passionately intent upon the pleasing and snake-like progress of their uncle that a young girl in furs, ascending the stairs two at a time, peeped perfunctorily into the nursery as she passed the hallwayand halted amazed.
  2. (euphemistic) A companion to one's (usually unmarried) mother.
  3. (figuratively) A source of advice, encouragement, or help.
  4. (Britain, informal) A pawnbroker.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Thackeray to this entry?)
  5. (especially in the Southern US, parts of the Britain and Asia) An affectionate term for a man of an older generation than oneself, especially a friend of one's parents, by means of fictive kin.
  6. (Southern US, slang, archaic) An older male African-American person.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson
      Plain old uncle as he [Socrates] was, with his great ears, an immense talker.

Synonyms

  • (dialectal, Scotland): eam, eme

Antonyms

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Interjection

uncle

  1. A cry used to indicate surrender.

References

  • uncle” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  • "uncle" in Merriam-Webster

Old French

Noun

uncle m (oblique plural uncles, nominative singular uncles, nominative plural uncle)

  1. (Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of oncle
    • circa 1170, Wace, Le Roman de Rou:
      D'ambes parz out filz e peres,
      uncles, nevos, cosins e freres
      On both sides there were sons and fathers,
      Uncles, nephews, cousins and brothers
    • circa 1250, Marie de France, Chevrefeuille
      Tristram en Wales se rala, tant que sis uncles le manda
      Tristan returned to Wales, while he waited for his uncle to call on him