Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small lutelike instrument with a typically pear-shaped body and a straight fretted neck, having usually four sets of paired strings tuned in unison or octaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stringed instrument and a member of the lute family, having eight strings in four courses, frequently tuned as a violin. They have either a bowl back or a flat back.
  • n. A kitchen tool used for slicing vegetables (usually spelled mandoline).
  • n. An RAF World War II code name for patrols to attack enemy railway transport.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small and beautifully shaped instrument resembling the lute.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A musical instrument of the lute class, having from four to six single or double metallic strings, which are stretched over an almond-shaped body, and a neck with numerous frets. It is played with a plectrum of tortoise-shell held in the right hand.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a stringed instrument related to the lute, usually played with a plectrum

Etymologies

French mandoline, from Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola, lute, from French mandore, from Late Latin pandūra, three-string lute, from Greek pandoura.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French mandoline, from Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola, a large stringed instrument. (Wiktionary)

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