aardvark

play
noun aard·vark \ˈärd-ˌvärk\

Definition of aardvark

  1. :  a large burrowing nocturnal mammal (Orycteropus afer) of sub-Saharan Africa that has a long snout, extensible tongue, powerful claws, large ears, and heavy tail and feeds especially on termites and ants

Recent Examples of aardvark from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aardvark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of aardvark

Origin and Etymology of aardvark

borrowed from early Afrikaans aardvarken (modern erdvark), from aarde “earth” + vark “hog”; akin to Old English eorthe “earth” and to Old English fearh “young pig” — more at 1earth, 1farrow Current Afrikaans erdvark, as against early aardvarken, aardvark (with Afrikaans loss of the Dutch final syllable), reflects early competition in Afrikaans between standard Dutch aarde and the North/South Holland form erd(e) (with lengthened [e] or [ε]); as a simplex Afrikaans retains both with different senses: erd, “earth, clay,” aarde “earth (the planet).”

Other Mammals Terms


AARDVARK Defined for English Language Learners

aardvark

play
noun

Definition of aardvark for English Language Learners

  • : a large African animal that has a long nose and that eats ants and other insects


AARDVARK Defined for Kids

aardvark

play
noun aard·vark \ˈärd-ˌvärk\

Definition of aardvark for Students

  1. :  an African animal with a long snout and a long sticky tongue that feeds mostly on ants and termites and is active at night



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up aardvark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to relieve or lessen

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!