The ukulele (/ˌjuːkəˈleɪli/ YOO-kə-LAY-lee; from Hawaiian: ʻukulele [ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ], approximately OO-koo-LEH-leh) is a member of the lute family of instruments. It generally employs four nylon strings.
The ukulele is a small, guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.
The tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly are made in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.