aard·​vark | \ ˈärd-ˌvärk How to pronounce aardvark (audio) \

Definition of aardvark

: 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

Illustration of aardvark

Illustration of aardvark

Examples of aardvark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other than Arthur being from the fictional Elwood City, another dissimilarity between the aardvark and Arthur is their facial structures. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 28 June 2022 Arthur is an aardvark, though there are differences between the actual animal and him. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 28 June 2022 For the first time in over 35 years, a baby aardvark is padding around California's San Diego Zoo. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 22 June 2022 The people behind the cartoon aardvark say goodbye. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2022 Read more: The people behind everyone's favorite cartoon aardvark say goodbye. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 Brown turns to a page that shows how to draw … an aardvark. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 22 Feb. 2022 The show premiered in 1996, and follows the adventures of an 8-year-old aardvark named Arthur Read along with his family and friends. Dan Heching, PEOPLE.com, 22 Feb. 2022 Based on a children’s book series by author Mark Brown, Arthur tells the story of Arthur Read, a talking aardvark who lives in Elwood City with his parents and younger sisters D.W. and Kate. Marisa Dellatto, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of aardvark

1822, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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 earth entry 1, farrow entry 1

Note: 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)."

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The first known use of aardvark was in 1822

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Last Updated

14 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aardvark.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aardvark. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for aardvark


aard·​vark | \ ˈärd-ˌvärk How to pronounce aardvark (audio) \

Kids Definition of aardvark

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

More from Merriam-Webster on aardvark

Nglish: Translation of aardvark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aardvark for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aardvark


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