uncle
noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin avunculus mother's brother; akin to Old English ēam uncle, Welsh ewythr, Latin avus grandfather Date: 14th century 1. a. the brother of one's father or mother b. the husband of one's aunt 2. one who helps, advises, or encourages 3. — used as a cry of surrender <
was forced to cry uncle
>
4. capitalized Uncle Sam

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Uncle — Un cle, n. [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? grandmother, Icel. [=a]i great grandfather.] 1. The brother of one s father or mother; also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • uncle — late 13c., from O.Fr. oncle, from L. avunculus mother s brother, lit. little grandfather, dim. of avus grandfather, from PIE root *awo grandfather, adult male relative other than one s father (Cf. Arm. hav grandfather, Lith. avynas maternal uncle …   Etymology dictionary

  • uncle — [uŋ′kəl] n. [OFr < L avunculus, one s mother s brother, dim. of * avo < IE * awos , maternal grandfather > OE eam, OHG oheim, uncle, L avus, grandfather] 1. the brother of one s father or mother 2. the husband of one s aunt 3. [Old… …   English World dictionary

  • uncle — ► NOUN ▪ the brother of one s father or mother or the husband of one s aunt. ORIGIN Old French oncle, from Latin avunculus maternal uncle …   English terms dictionary

  • uncle —    Used by a speaker to address the brother of his father or mother, or the husband of an aunt, an uncle in law.    The term is used alone, or followed by the first name of the man concerned, especially if the speaker is a child.    Usage varies… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • uncle — I. n 1. British a pawnbroker. A use of the word which arose in the 18th century, referring (probably ironically) to the mon eylender s avuncular assistance. The term was still heard in London in the 1950s and may survive. From the 1980s it was… …   Contemporary slang

  • uncle — [13] Uncle comes via Anglo Norman uncle and late Latin aunculus from Latin avunculus ‘mother’s brother, maternal uncle’ (source also of English avuncular [19]). This was a diminutive noun derived from the prehistoric base *aw ‘grandparent’, and… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • uncle — [13] Uncle comes via Anglo Norman uncle and late Latin aunculus from Latin avunculus ‘mother’s brother, maternal uncle’ (source also of English avuncular [19]). This was a diminutive noun derived from the prehistoric base *aw ‘grandparent’, and… …   Word origins

  • uncle — n. 1 a the brother of one s father or mother. b an aunt s husband. 2 colloq. a name given by children to a male family friend. 3 sl. esp. hist. a pawnbroker. Phrases and idioms: Uncle Sam colloq. the federal government or citizens of the US (will …   Useful english dictionary

  • uncle */*/ — UK [ˈʌŋk(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms uncle : singular uncle plural uncles a) the brother of one of your parents, or the husband of your aunt. You are his niece or nephew The business was owned by my uncle. a letter from Uncle Richard b) …   English dictionary

  • Uncle — For other uses, see Uncle (disambiguation). Uncle (from Latin: avunculus little grandfather , the diminutive of avus grandfather ,) is a family relationship or kinship, and a parent s male sibling or the male spouse of a parent s sibling. A woman …   Wikipedia

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