coyote

noun
coy·​ote | \ kī-ˈō-tē How to pronounce coyote (audio) , chiefly Western ˈkī-ˌōt How to pronounce coyote (audio) \
plural coyotes or coyote

Definition of coyote

1 : a buff-gray to reddish-gray swift carnivorous mammal (Canis latrans) of North America that is closely related to but smaller than the wolf, has a narrow pointed muzzle and triangular ears, hunts singly or in small groups, and is known for its various distinctive vocalizations (such as barks, yips, and howls)

Note: The coyote is often considered a threat to livestock. Despite being hunted and trapped, the coyote has expanded its original range and is found in all states except Hawaii.

2 slang : one who smuggles immigrants into the U.S.

Illustration of coyote

Illustration of coyote

coyote 1

Examples of coyote in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Now the drug lords and coyotes, human smugglers, have more targets: migrants who are being forced to wait in Mexico before being summoned to the U.S. to legally seek asylum under the Remain in Mexico program both governments have embraced. Dallas News, "Mexico wrestles with its identity as the national guard helps Trump and López Obrador crack down on migrants," 29 June 2019 The diseases mainly affect dogs, but can include raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes and more. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how to protect your pets from parvo and distemper," 8 June 2019 His efforts also helped lead to bans on DDT insecticide and the chemical compound 1080, used to kill coyotes and other animals. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Nathaniel Reed, Aide to Nixon and Ford, Helped Lead Drive to Protect Environment," 20 July 2018 Dogs resemble wild quadrupeds — feral hogs, raccoons, coyotes and other mammals — that are regular meals for gators. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Wildlife is wild, so admire from afar," 13 June 2018 Last year, Wildlife Services reported intentionally killing 12,119 coyotes with M-44s, along with four feral dogs, nearly 1,000 foxes and 12,000 cowbirds. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Cyanide 'bombs' used to kill coyotes, foxes under review by federal officials," 28 Apr. 2018 There's no accurate count on the number of coyotes in Seward, authorities say. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "First the rabbits disappeared. Now Seward’s coyotes are killing dogs.," 8 Mar. 2018 There were lone coyotes and leaping pronghorn that flew across the land as the plains became sandstone bluffs that dropped into deep gorges of the curvy Missouri River. Andrew Evans, chicagotribune.com, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018 The ReachFew places are as majestic as Montana’s Big Sky country: Think endless meadows, legendary rivers, the howl of coyotes. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018

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

1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coyote

Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl coyōtl

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Statistics for coyote

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for coyote

The first known use of coyote was in 1759

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More Definitions for coyote

coyote

noun

English Language Learners Definition of coyote

: a small wild animal that is related to dogs and wolves and that lives in North America

coyote

noun
coy·​ote | \ kī-ˈō-tē How to pronounce coyote (audio) , ˈkī-ˌōt\

Kids Definition of coyote

: a yellowish to reddish gray doglike animal chiefly of western North America that is closely related to but smaller than the wolf

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More from Merriam-Webster on coyote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coyote

Spanish Central: Translation of coyote

Nglish: Translation of coyote for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coyote for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about coyote

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