noun, plural ban·jos, ban·joes.
- a musical instrument of the guitar family, having a circular body covered in front with tightly stretched parchment and played with the fingers or a plectrum.
noun plural -jos or -joes
- a stringed musical instrument with a long neck (usually fretted) and a circular drumlike body overlaid with parchment, plucked with the fingers or a plectrum
- slang any banjo-shaped object, esp a frying pan
- Australian and NZ slang a long-handled shovel with a wide blade
- (modifier) banjo-shapeda banjo clock
1764, American English, usually described as of African origin, probably akin to Bantu mbanza, an instrument resembling a banjo. The word has been influenced by colloquial pronunciation of bandore (1560s in English), a 16c. stringed instrument like a lute and an ancestor (musically and linguistically) of mandolin; from Portuguese bandurra, from Latin pandura, from Greek pandoura “three-stringed instrument.” The origin and influence might be the reverse of what is here described.