noun (1)
\ˈas \

Definition of ass 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of several hardy gregarious (see gregarious sense 1a) African or Asian perissodactyl mammals (genus Equus) smaller than the horse and having long ears especially : an African mammal (E. asinus) that is the ancestor of the donkey

2 informal + impolite : a stupid, obstinate, or perverse person a pompous ass made an ass of himself often compounded with a preceding adjective Don't be a smart-ass.


noun (2)
\ˈas \
variants: or \ˈas, ˈärs \

Definition of ass (Entry 2 of 3)

1a informal + impolite : buttocks often used in emphatic reference to a specific person Get your ass over here.saved my ass

b informal + impolite : anus

2 offensive : sexual intercourse



Definition of ass (Entry 3 of 3)

informal + impolite

used as a postpositive intensive especially with words of derogatory implication fancy-ass

First Known Use of ass

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1920, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ass

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English assa, probably from Old Irish asan, from Latin asinus

Noun (2)

Middle English ars, ers, from Old English ærs, ears; akin to Old High German & Old Norse ars buttocks, Greek orrhos buttocks, oura tail


ass entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ass

Statistics for ass

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ass

The first known use of ass was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ass


\ˈas \

Kids Definition of ass

1 : an animal that looks like but is smaller than the related horse and has shorter hair in the mane and tail and longer ears : donkey

2 : a stupid or stubborn person

Hint: This sense of the word is often considered impolite, and you may offend people by using it.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ass

See words that rhyme with ass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ass

Spanish Central: Translation of ass Encyclopedia article about ass

Comments on ass

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


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!