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 Genetically, the wild highland singing dog, the captive singing dogs and the Australian dingo are nearly identical, the study found. al, "Florida man searches for rare New Guinea singing dogs," 28 Dec. 2020 Lethal control also fractures wild dingo family units, increasing attacks from reckless young dingoes. Max G. Levy, Science | AAAS, "Wacky tube men could keep dingoes away from livestock in Australia," 20 Oct. 2020 The Guardian also suggests that changing climate and the introduction of the dingo may have also played roles in the devil’s extinction in Australia. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "For the First Time in 3,000 Years, Tasmanian Devils Return to Mainland Australia," 6 Oct. 2020 Only one dingo ran from the audio recording of gunshots. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Australia, Inflatable Tube Dancers Scare Dingoes Away From Livestock," 21 Oct. 2020 The institute was founded in the 1980s following the notorious case of Lindy Chamberlain, who said that a dingo had made off with her baby. Rachel Pannett, WSJ, "Augmented Reality Offers a Promise of Incision-Free Autopsies," 30 Sep. 2020 Both the wild dogs and the captive singing dogs are close relatives of the Australian dingo, and relatively distant relatives of domestic dogs. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Thought to Be Extinct, New Guinea’s Singing Dogs Found Alive in the Wild," 2 Sep. 2020 Today, with the wild population thought to have gone extinct decades ago, the songs of these secretive canines—close cousins of the Australian dingo—are heard only by zoogoers. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "New Guinea’s mysterious singing dogs found again in the wild," 31 Aug. 2020 Roughly 2,000 years ago, the pouched predator disappeared from Papua New Guinea and Australia, perhaps due to competition from the dingo. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "‘New’ Footage of Benjamin, the Last Tasmanian Tiger Ever Seen Alive," 1 June 2020

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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Statistics for dingo

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dingo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dingo. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for dingo



English Language Learners Definition of dingo

: a wild dog of Australia

More from Merriam-Webster on dingo

Britannica English: Translation of dingo for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dingo

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