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

The eye-catching footwear debuted in both camel and black colors — but it wasn't limited just to thigh-highs. Rachel Torgerson, Cosmopolitan, "The Thigh-High Ugg Fashion Saga Continues, This Time With HEELS," 2 Mar. 2018 The music is hot, with horns adding spice to a bump-and-grind blues groove, while dancers hold hands and wind across the stage with stiff legs reminiscent of the camel walk. Marcia Manna,, "Choreographer Mark Morris interprets 50-year-old ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ songs as dance," 10 May 2018 But that wasn’t all researchers saw in their camel samples. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Camels in Africa may have been quietly spreading prion disease for decades," 26 Apr. 2018 Thousand Oaks had one located adjacent to a large pen of Jungleland’s camels and llamas. Shelby Grad,, "Essential California: Why the heat left so many powerless in L.A.," 10 July 2018 The proverbial straw hits the camel’s back,’’ said Hutcher, explaining why Cintron had filed suit now., "Trump’s longtime personal driver sues for overtime wages," 9 July 2018 Salam had been making his regular six-day trip by camel to the town of Abu Zenima for food supplies for his family ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, as his own area lacks shops and amenities. Salma Islam,, "A long-distance hiking trail in Egypt has reunited Bedouin tribes in the name of jobs and tourism," 21 June 2018 Blakeslee said those health benefits carry over when camel milk is consumed as a beverage. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Camel milk is the hot new trend and there is a farm right here in Indiana," 21 June 2018 Nevertheless, this was somehow the straw that broke the camel’s back. Laura Bradley, HWD, "After Roseanne’s Cancellation, Hollywood Rushes to Ditch Roseanne Barr," 29 May 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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Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

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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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a private place of worship

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