cam·​el | \ ˈka-məl \

Definition of camel 

1 : either of two large ruminant mammals (genus Camelus) used as draft and saddle animals in desert regions especially of Africa and Asia:
a : the one-humped camel (C. dromedarius) extant only as a domestic or feral animal : dromedary
b : the 2-humped camel (C. bactrianus synonym C. ferus) of desert and steppe regions of northwestern China and southwestern Mongolia : bactrian camel
2 : a watertight structure used especially to lift submerged ships
3 : a light yellowish brown

Illustration of camel

Illustration of camel

camel 1: 1 dromedary, 2 Bactrian camel

Examples of camel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One option was a camel coat, leather skirt, and leopard-print booties; another was a boxy plaid overcoat, paired with an above-the-knee turtleneck dress. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Diane Keaton Proves She’s Still the Boss With One Kitschy Hat," 27 Dec. 2018 While taking a stroll with her husband, James Matthews, and their baby boy, Arthur in a Bugaboo stroller, the British socialite bundled up in a cozy camel coat while keeping dry under her umbrella. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Walks with Her New Baby in a Cozy Zara Coat," 3 Dec. 2018 For centuries, Agadez has been an important way-stop for smugglers, migrants and camel caravans traversing the Sahara. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "A Shadowy War’s Newest Front: A Drone Base Rising From Saharan Dust," 22 Apr. 2018 Her high-neck, camel-colored top and black jogger pants loosely framed her skin-centric midriff, concealing the rest of her no-doubt toned physique in the process. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski Makes the Case for a Summer Six Pack—in the Dead of Winter," 20 Dec. 2018 From riding on camels through the desert to candlelit dinners, Genevieve and Christian know how to throw a damn good wedding. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Genevieve Gorder's Dreamy Moroccan Wedding," 24 Sep. 2018 Zoolights, a longtime tradition at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, features light sculptures of animals and Northwest landmarks, camel rides, a vintage carousel, and drinks and treats at the cafe and kiosks throughout the zoo. Madeline Mckenzie, The Seattle Times, "Holiday sights light up the night at Green Lake, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle and Tacoma zoos," 5 Dec. 2018 Llamas, camels, and sharks all use only a pair of heavy chains. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Llama “nanobodies” might grant universal flu protection," 5 Nov. 2018 With bones originally discovered by Charles Darwin during his voyages famed HMS Beagle, the Macrauchenia can best be described as having the body of a giant llama or camel, the feet of a rhinoceros, and an elephant's trunk. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "It Will Take Millions of Years for Evolution to Replace What We Might Lose in the Next 50," 16 Oct. 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for camel

Middle English, from Old English & Anglo-French, from Latin camelus, from Greek kamēlos, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew gāmāl camel

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Dictionary Entries near camel





camel's hay


camel bird

Statistics for camel

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for camel

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

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English Language Learners Definition of camel

: a large animal of Africa and Asia that has a long neck and one or two large humps on its back and that is often used for desert travel


cam·​el | \ ˈka-məl \

Kids Definition of camel

: a large animal that has one or two large humps on its back and is used in the deserts of Asia and Africa for carrying passengers and loads

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More from Merriam-Webster on camel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with camel

Spanish Central: Translation of camel

Nglish: Translation of camel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of camel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about camel

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