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

Moriarty believes the coyote, enticed by her cat, managed to get through her back door. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Oklahoma woman mistakes coyote for dog, awakes to wild animal in bedroom: 'He lunged at the door'," 12 Sep. 2018 The family reported a coyote had been stalking their family dog prior to the incident at their home near William Ellis Middle School, the Journal reported. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Coyote follows NC girl, attacks her at front door. Her mother fought it off. | Charlotte Observer," 16 Mar. 2018 One post at the site reported that at 9:30 a.m. July 2, two dogs were chased by coyotes near Sanctuary Woods. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa Police warn of aggressive coyotes at Milwaukee County Grounds," 6 July 2018 Their coordinated effort eventually led to the coyote’s liberation late Monday morning. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Coyote rescued after spending 10 days with a plastic jar stuck on its head | The Sacramento Bee," 6 Feb. 2018 So far, trappers have humanely euthanized five coyotes. Maria Carter, Country Living, "This Town Just Had Its Fourth Coyote Attack In a Single Month," 11 July 2015 Foxes, snakes, birds, chickens, monkeys, cougars, and coyotes have all shown the ability to live in cities. Aditi Shrikant, BostonGlobe.com, "When wild animals urbanize," 13 July 2018 The declining water level revealed a land bridge connecting an island rookery to the shore, allowing coyotes to pad across and feast on gulls and their nests. Louis Sahagun, latimes.com, "A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra — or less water for L.A.," 5 July 2018 Likewise, the desert, its coyotes and tall tales about the American West were now transporting a Manhattan kid to a world he had only seen in textbooks. Joe Drape, New York Times, "On an Arizona Road Trip, Miles of Family Firsts," 12 June 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

16 Mar 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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