American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A usually fretted stringed instrument having a narrow neck and a hollow circular body with a covering of plastic or stretched skin on which the bridge rests. The modern American banjo typically has four strings and often a short fifth string plucked with the thumb.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musical instrument of the guitar class, having a neck with or without frets. and a circular body covered in front with tightly stretched parchment, like a tambourine. It has from five to nine strings, of which the melody-string, the highest in pitch, but placed outside of the lowest of the others, is played by the thumb. As in the guitar, the pitch of the strings is fixed by stopping them with the left hand, while the right hand produces the tone by plucking or striking. It is a favorite instrument among the negroes of the southern United States, and is much used by other persons.
- n. A banjo-frame (which see).
- n. A form of automatic railway signaling-apparatus in which a flat circular disk, with an arm projecting from one side, is alternately exhibited in front of a glass opening in the signal-box and withdrawn from sight by the make and break of an electric circuit. The shape of the disk and its arm has suggested the name.
- n. In mining, an iron frame for carrying a false clack.
- n. music A stringed musical instrument with a round body and fretted neck, played by plucking or strumming the strings.
- n. slang An object shaped like a banjo, especially a frying pan or a shovel.
- v. To play the banjo
- v. slang, UK To beat; to knock down
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A stringed musical instrument having a head and neck like the guitar, and a circular body like a tambourine. It has five strings, and is played with the fingers and hands.
- n. a stringed instrument of the guitar family that has long neck and circular body
- Akin to Jamaican English banja, fiddle; probably akin to Kimbundu and Tshiluba mbanza, a plucked stringed instrument. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I'm sure down South in banjo country Faux News Princess Palin will actually be a boon to McDonnell since Southerners can no longer read, write or think critically and are becoming ever more obese like their idol Limbaugh while sitting on their sofas listening to Fixed News. carol”
“He picked up a trail-scarred banjo from the floor and began to strum a few wandering notes.”
“a machine he called a banjo, upon which he would play lewd and idolatrous music which was most pleasing to the ear; and he would sing songs while he played, which all ended with a yell.”
“So, it was one thing to play that music, and now it's something different to create your own music because trying to learn these violin pieces and cello pieces on the banjo is a great challenge, but they're not written for the banjo, so in a certain way, you can never really win, you know?”
“The banjo is the musical equivalent of the battle ax: metallic, obvious, lethal and usually wielded by someone who has not read Jane Austen.”
“Watching a neophyte take a crack at the banjo is the scariest thing since George Harrison tried playing the sitar.”
“Professional finishers who tape entire houses in one day will use a tool called a banjo.”
“Fun fact: the banjo was the first unique instrument made in America.”
“This banjo I got is really heavy, it's like a twelve string banjo, which is kind of like this anomaly, and it's so big and it's glass and it's wood and it's like trying to play a telephone booth - [laughs] it's so giant.”
“I wrote a post about wanting to buy a banjo -- a 300 dollar banjo, which is a lot of money.”
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