chuck·​wal·​la ˈchək-ˌwä-lə How to pronounce chuckwalla (audio)
variants or chuckawalla
: a large herbivorous lizard (Sauromalus ater) of the iguana family of desert regions of the southwestern U.S.

Illustration of chuckwalla

Illustration of chuckwalla

Examples of chuckwalla in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If a predator approaches, the chuckwalla will scamper into a narrow crevice and begin gulping air, inflating its wrinkled body like a balloon until firmly wedged in the rocks. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chuckwalla.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


American Spanish chacahuala, from Cahuilla (Uto-Aztecan language of southeast California) čáxwal

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chuckwalla was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near chuckwalla

Cite this Entry

“Chuckwalla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


chuck·​wal·​la ˈchək-ˌwäl-ə How to pronounce chuckwalla (audio)
: a large plant-eating lizard of the desert regions of the southwestern U.S.

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