uncle Definition

  • 1the brother of one's father or mother
  • 2the husband of one's aunt

Using uncle: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "uncle" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    My uncle is coming to visit us this weekend.

  • Example

    She has a close relationship with her uncle.

  • Example

    He inherited the house from his uncle.

  • Example

    I have two uncles on my mother's side.

uncle Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for uncle

Idioms Using uncle

  • play uncle

    to act as if one is an authority figure or mentor to someone else, especially a child


    He likes to play uncle to his younger cousins.

  • to admit defeat or surrender


    After hours of arguing, he finally cried uncle and agreed to her proposal.

  • an uncle who is seen as fun, hip, or fashionable by his nieces and nephews


    He always brings the coolest gifts and takes them on fun outings. He's definitely the cool uncle.

Phrases with uncle

  • great-uncle

    the brother of one's grandparent


    My great-uncle fought in World War II.

  • uncle Sam

    a personification of the United States government or its policies


    Uncle Sam wants you to join the army.

  • uncle Tom

    a black person who is regarded as being subservient or excessively deferential to white people


    The character Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel is often criticized for perpetuating negative stereotypes.

Origins of uncle

from Middle English 'unkel', from Old French 'oncle', from Latin 'avunculus', meaning 'maternal uncle'


Summary: uncle in Brief

'Uncle' [ˈʌŋkl] refers to the brother of one's father or mother, or the husband of one's aunt. It is a familial term that denotes a close relationship, as in 'She has a close relationship with her uncle.' The phrase 'play uncle' means to act as an authority figure or mentor, while 'cry uncle' means to admit defeat. A 'cool uncle' is seen as fun, hip, or fashionable by his nieces and nephews.

How do native speakers use this expression?