basenji

noun
ba·​sen·​ji | \ bə-ˈsen-jē, -ˈzen-\

Definition of basenji

: any of a breed of small curly-tailed dogs of African origin that do not bark

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

One of an ancient breed of hound native to central Africa, the basenji is used to point and retrieve and to drive quarry into a net. Known as the barkless dog, it produces a variety of sounds other than barks. Its finely wrinkled forehead, erect ears, and tightly curled tail give it a characteristic alert expression. It has a short, silky reddish brown, black, or black-and-tan coat, and white feet, chest, and tail tip. It stands 16–17 in (41–43 cm) high and weighs 22–24 lbs. (10–11 kg). It is clean and gentle.

Examples of basenji in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018 But contestants like Zuri the basenji and Valur the Saluki came from breeds seldom seen at agility trials. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: Mystics of Time bring fun and frivolty," 11 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basenji.' 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 basenji

1937, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for basenji

probably modification of Lingala mbwa na basenji, literally, dogs of the bushland people

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about basenji

Statistics for basenji

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basenji

The first known use of basenji was in 1937

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on basenji

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about basenji

Comments on basenji

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!