al·​paca | \al-ˈpa-kə \

Definition of alpaca 

1 : a domesticated mammal (Vicugna pacos synonym Lama pacos) especially of Peru that is probably descended from the vicuña

2a : wool of the alpaca

b(1) : a thin cloth made of or containing this wool

(2) : a rayon or cotton imitation of this cloth

Illustration of alpaca

Illustration of alpaca

alpaca 1

Examples of alpaca in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An alpaca in Florida has died after eating too much junk food that was left by an unidentified motorist. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Florida alpaca dies after 'overindulging' in Doritos, peanuts," 20 Aug. 2018 In the middle of the table, there are seven further boards, representing locations one’s Andean worker meeples will visit on their journey to becoming chief alpaca wrangler or whatever the goal is (the manual is vague). Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Altiplano review: A brain-tickling board game about… alpacas," 14 July 2018 Police tried to contact the alpaca’s owner, to no avail, and an officer sent to the scene reported that the animal had jumped over a fence, presumably to safety. Emily Sweeney,, "Where the animals own the streets," 22 June 2018 The alpaca received stitches for a neck wound and is fighting off an infection. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Alpaca caught on video chasing after cougar to save her baby," 24 Sep. 2018 Its mascot is, after all a goofy, boggle-eyed llama alpaca (llama?) with a pronounced underbite; the animal also appears as an elaborate in-game standee denoting the first player. Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Altiplano review: A brain-tickling board game about… alpacas," 14 July 2018 Rose quartz, alpaca, and brass metal ground the hand created offering of clutches, necklaces, cuffs, and rings. Priya Rao, Town & Country, "California Dreamin'," 15 Jan. 2014 The shoes are ethically made from silky alpaca fur in Peru by cruelty-free farmers and skilled female artisans. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Valentine's Day Gift Ideas: Soft Things For Hard Times," 1 Feb. 2018 The popular British department store has become a go-to for the new royal, who chose a pair of their classic tan gloves to accessorize her Sentaler alpaca coat worn to church on Christmas Day last year. Monique Jessen,, "It's a Royal Wedding Recycle! Meghan Markle Rewore Her Wedding Shoes with $40 Fascinator," 18 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of alpaca

1747, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alpaca

Spanish, from Aymara allpaqa

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alpaca

Dictionary Entries near alpaca








Statistics for alpaca

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alpaca

The first known use of alpaca was in 1747

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alpaca



English Language Learners Definition of alpaca

: a South American animal that is related to the llama and has long woolly hair

: wool of the alpaca or a cloth made of it


al·​paca | \al-ˈpa-kə \

Kids Definition of alpaca

: a South American animal related to the camel and llama that is raised for its long woolly hair which is woven into warm strong cloth

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on alpaca

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alpaca

Spanish Central: Translation of alpaca

Nglish: Translation of alpaca for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about alpaca

Comments on alpaca

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


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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