bighorn sheep

noun
big·​horn sheep | \ ˈbig-ˌhȯrn- How to pronounce bighorn sheep (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural bighorn sheep also bighorns or bighorn

Definition of bighorn sheep

: a usually grayish-brown wild sheep (Ovis canadensis) of mountainous and desert regions of western North America

Note: The bighorn sheep has a white patch on the rump and, in the males, massive horns that curve up and back over the ears and then up and forward toward the cheeks.

Illustration of bighorn sheep

Illustration of bighorn sheep

Examples of bighorn sheep in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Visitors are required to stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. CBS News, "Wild bison gores 72-year-old woman in Yellowstone after she got too close," 30 June 2020 Visitors are required to stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. CBS News, "Wild bison gores 72-year-old woman in Yellowstone after she got too close," 30 June 2020 Visitors are required to stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. CBS News, "Wild bison gores 72-year-old woman in Yellowstone after she got too close," 30 June 2020 Officials say to stay more than 25 yards away from all large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Woman 'Gored' by a Bison After Trying to Take Its Photo at Yellowstone National Park," 30 June 2020 The blaze has scorched the domain of mammals such as black bears, mule deer, white-tailed deer, javelina, bighorn sheep and some elk habitat. Erin Stone, azcentral, "As Bush Fire becomes one of largest in Arizona history, water and wildlife at risk," 22 June 2020 Wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and bighorn sheep represent three of Texas’ greatest wildlife translocation stories. Dallas News, "A quail proving ground," 20 June 2020 But albatross are only one of the many animals, from bighorn sheep to sea lions, whose sexes split to occupy different spaces during the nonbreeding season. Tara Santora, Scientific American, "Should Ecologists Treat Male and Female Animals like ‘Different Species’?," 2 June 2020 Visitors are required to stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. CBS News, "Bison injures woman at Yellowstone 2 days after park reopens," 21 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of bighorn sheep

1817, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bighorn sheep was in 1817

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Statistics for bighorn sheep

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bighorn sheep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bighorn%20sheep. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bighorn sheep

bighorn sheep

noun
How to pronounce bighorn sheep (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bighorn sheep

: a kind of wild sheep with long curved horns that lives in the mountains of western North America

More from Merriam-Webster on bighorn sheep

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bighorn sheep

Comments on bighorn sheep

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