dingo

noun
din·​go | \ ˈdiŋ-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce dingo (audio) \
plural dingoes

Definition of dingo

: a wild dog (Canis dingo) of Australia having a tan or reddish coat that is often considered a subspecies (C. familiaris dingo) of the domestic dog

Illustration of dingo

Illustration of dingo

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Did You Know?

An Australian wild dog, the dingo was apparently introduced from Asia 5,000–8,000 years ago. It has short, soft fur, a bushy tail, and erect, pointed ears. It is about 4 ft (1.2 m) long, including the 12-in (30-cm) tail, and stands about 24 in (60 cm) high. Its color varies between yellowish and reddish brown, often with white underparts, feet, and tail tip. Dingoes hunt alone or in small groups. They formerly preyed on kangaroos, but now feed mainly on rabbits and sometimes on livestock. Through competition for resources, they contributed to the extermination of the Tasmanian wolf and Tasmanian devil on the Australian mainland.

Examples of dingo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, jumping spiders and wild budgies are featured in the Australia episode, according to NPR. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’ | How to watch, time, TV channel, live stream," 18 Jan. 2020 After several weeks, the results came back and revealed that Wandi is a purebred dingo. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Lonely Puppy Likely Dropped in Australian Yard by Bird Turns Out to Be a Wild Dingo," 4 Nov. 2019 Things got worse about 4000 years ago when people introduced the dingo, a placental mammal from Asia that was a more efficient hunter than the Tasmanian tiger or devil and quickly outcompeted them. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Giant reptiles once ruled Australia. Their loss sparked an ecological disaster," 11 Oct. 2019 Jasmin's plan calls for breeding different combinations of singing dogs and dingoes. Kelly Wilkinson, Indianapolis Star, "3 of the rarest dogs in the world live in Beech Grove — and they can sing!," 27 Aug. 2019 This news was met with delight, reports CNN, since dingos are considered to be a vulnerable species. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Lonely Puppy Likely Dropped in Australian Yard by Bird Turns Out to Be a Wild Dingo," 4 Nov. 2019 The dingo was likely responsible for the loss of the Tasmanian devil and Tasmanian tiger. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Giant reptiles once ruled Australia. Their loss sparked an ecological disaster," 11 Oct. 2019 Despite the physical dangers — including the infamous 1980 killing of a baby by a dingo at a local campsite — Uluru became one of Australia’s most popular and recognized tourist destinations. Washington Post, "The last climb up Australia’s majestic Uluru," 25 Oct. 2019 Or maybe there were two domestications of dogs, and the dingo would be related to the Chinese wolf while the basenji was related to the Croatian wolf. Ariel Bleicher, Quanta Magazine, "A Map of Human History, Hidden in DNA," 20 Apr. 2017

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

1789, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dingo

Dharuk (Australian aboriginal language of the Port Jackson area) diŋgu

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Time Traveler for dingo

Time Traveler

The first known use of dingo was in 1789

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Statistics for dingo

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dingo.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dingo. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for dingo

dingo

noun
How to pronounce dingo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dingo

: a wild dog of Australia

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More from Merriam-Webster on dingo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dingo

Britannica English: Translation of dingo for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dingo

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