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

With thick brushstrokes, Ms. Harricks summons the sere land and low trees of the Australian bush, the unseen moon turning the ground almost white as the dingo hunts for a rabbit to feed her pups. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: There Was Never Anything Quite Like 1919," 11 Jan. 2019 That’s the conclusion of a study published this week in the Journal of The Royal Society Interface, in which researchers compared the landscape on either side of a 5000-kilometer-long wire mesh dingo fence. Lakshmi Supriya, Science | AAAS, "A fence built to keep out wild dogs out has dramatically altered the Australian landscape," 6 July 2018 The likely explanation, the team says, is that without a top predator like the dingo, smaller hunters such as foxes and cats have flourished, decimating prey species like hopping mice and rabbits. Lakshmi Supriya, Science | AAAS, "A fence built to keep out wild dogs out has dramatically altered the Australian landscape," 6 July 2018 From the beginning, the thylacine’s common names—zebra wolf, tiger wolf, opossum-hyena, Tasmanian dingo—marked it as another chimera, too incongruous to understand on its own terms. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger," 16 Jan. 2012 Wild animals—kangaroos, dingoes, cassowaries, giant tortoises—roamed on the grounds of the ancestral pile. Franz Lidz, Smithsonian, "The Great Feather Heist," 21 Mar. 2018 The only top predator left, the Australian wild dog, or dingo (photograph), is under threat from humans because of its predilection for eating sheep. Erin Biba, Scientific American, "Inside Australia’s War on Invasive Species," 1 Aug. 2017 Here in Australia, families with kids regularly camp in the bush where there are feral pigs, dingoes and several species of snakes more venomous than a rattlesnake. Scientific American, "Readers Respond to the December 2017 Issue," 1 Dec. 2017 While controlling those predators, like in Booderee, can help, some researchers believe the more sustainable solution is to allow top predators, like the dingo, to take care of the foxes and cats. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Super-cute Eastern Quoll Returns to Mainland Australia," 16 Mar. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near dingo


dingle stick






Statistics for dingo

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for dingo

The first known use of dingo was in 1789

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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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to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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