From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin avunculus (maternal uncle).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈvʌŋkjʊlə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈvʌŋkjʊlɚ/
  • (file)


avuncular (comparative more avuncular, superlative most avuncular)

  1. In the manner of an uncle, pertaining to an uncle.
    Synonyms: unclely, uncley, unclish, (archaic) uncular
    Coordinate terms: maternal, materteral, paternal
    • 1997, David Nokes, Jane Austen: A Life:
      Both uncle Frank and uncle Stephen Austen had made it a point of principle to be rigorously unsentimental in the discharge of their avuncular obligations.
  2. (by extension) Kind, genial, benevolent, or tolerant.
    Synonyms: kind, benevolent
    • 1987 January, William Schneider, “The New Shape of American Politics”, in The Atlantic:
      A man with such a nice, avuncular personality would not blow up the world.
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      I imagine the Dreamward’s Hotel Manager to be an avuncular Norwegian with a rag sweater and a soothing odor of Borkum Rif about him, a guy w/o sunglasses or hauteur who throws open the pressurized doors to the Dreamward’s Bridge and galley and Vacuum Sewage System and personally takes me through, offering pithy and quotable answers to questions before I’ve even asked them.
    • 2003 September 20, Vicki Croke, “New leader of the MSPCA moves to tame budget woes”, in Boston Globe:
      Thornton's reputation was that of a soft-hearted and avuncular veterinarian known for getting teary-eyed while listening to even slightly sentimental stories.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]