cam·​el | \ ˈka-məl How to pronounce camel (audio) \
plural camels

Definition of camel

1 : either of two large ruminant (see ruminant entry 1) mammals (genus Camelus) that have one or two large humps of stored fat on the back and are 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
4a : camel hair sense 2 "… So we're going to look for more luxury fabrics—cashmere, camel, alpaca and … lambswools."— Paul Diamond usually used before another noun a genuine camel coat
b : leather made from the skin of a camel They all have four-digit price tags and are crafted from luxe leathers like buffalo, calfskin and camel.— Georgina Safe usually used before another noun camel leather

Illustration of camel

Illustration of camel

camel 1: 1 dromedary, 2 Bactrian camel

Examples of camel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Photos that Crawford shared to Instagram show the pair twinning in matching camel coats, with each model taking the opportunity to show off her individual taste. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Mar. 2022 Cindy Crawford and her daughter Kaia Gerber recently shared a matching moment in camel wrap coats while off duty in the city. Abigail Adams,, 2 Mar. 2022 What scientists have learned: The camel family, Camelidae, actually originated in North America more than 40 million years ago. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Feb. 2022 As the guest designer of the fair, fast-rising British designer Grace Wales Bonner put on an elegant runway show that included a cashmere tuxedo and an imposing camel-hair topcoat produced by the Savile Row institution Anderson & Sheppard. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 20 June 2022 On the more dressy end, roomy Bermuda’s shorts in cream paired with a camel jacket and ochre zipper back, with the cutout bucket hat. Colleen Barry, ajc, 18 June 2022 While spotted in Brooklyn later in the day, Bieber went for another monochrome moment, this time donning a head-to-toe camel outfit composed of a Sportmax suit and glossy Jimmy Choo pumps. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 June 2022 While here, guests can organize a stargazing experience with an astronomer or a camel ride as the desert sun dips below the sand. Katie Lockhart, House Beautiful, 1 June 2022 Officers told local news outlet Fox4 Kansas City that the camel's halter broke while on display at the Agriculture Hall of Fame's nativity scene on Saturday night. Olivia Jakiel,, 10 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for camel

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near camel



camel's hay

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Last Updated

16 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Camel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for camel


cam·​el | \ ˈka-məl How to pronounce camel (audio) \

Kids Definition of camel

: a large hoofed 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

More from Merriam-Webster on camel

Nglish: Translation of camel for Spanish Speakers

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


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