don·key | \ˈdäŋ-kē, ˈdəŋ-, ˈdȯŋ- \
plural donkeys

Definition of donkey 

1 : the domestic ass (Equus asinus)

2 : a stupid or obstinate person

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of donkey in a Sentence

we put our bags on the donkey and headed down the canyon called him a donkey when he refused to go along with their plans

Recent Examples on the Web

His brother, Kasim, shows up later with donkeys for an epic raid and is chopped to death by 40 thieves. Alice Hines, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: AliExpress," 11 Apr. 2018 The thing is, having donkeys is a lot like having dogs or cats or kids. Sheila Stroup,, "Eudora the donkey was part of writer's life for 20 years," 28 Jan. 2018 Accompanied by a chatterbox of a donkey (Eddie Murphy), Shrek sets out on a long, arduous journey that quickly goes off the rails. New York Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘The Bachelorette’," 28 May 2018 Goats, donkeys and a pig were able to escape and no people were injured. Emily Bloch,, "Fundraiser started for exotic animal barn fire," 4 July 2018 Guests, particularly families with young kids, often linger to see the animals living on the property, like goats, donkeys and chickens. Leeanne Griffin,, "25-Plus Popular Ice Cream Spots In Connecticut," 21 May 2018 The Lawton family lived at 12 N. Washington St., today the site of Eve Assisted Living, and the donkey was a beloved member of the community and participated in the parade year after year. Sara Clarkson,, "Hinsdale's Fourth of July parade marches through town's history," 20 June 2018 Thousands of years ago, in what’s now Turkey, someone bred a horse with a donkey. Stina Sieg, azcentral, "Stubbornly steadfast, pack mules keep Grand Canyon moving," 9 June 2018 Kathleen Williamson is a singer-songwriter, lawyer, and old friend of Lee’s, dating from the days when Williamson lived in the gulch in Jerome and was known as the Goat Lady, delivering milk from her herd on the back of a donkey. Brett Martin, Outside Online, "Katie Lee, Our Lady of Glen Canyon," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'donkey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of donkey

circa 1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for donkey

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about donkey

Phrases Related to donkey

talk the hind leg(s) off a donkey

Statistics for donkey

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for donkey

The first known use of donkey was circa 1785

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for donkey



English Language Learners Definition of donkey

: an animal that is like a small horse with large ears


don·key | \ˈdäŋ-kē, ˈdəŋ-, ˈdȯŋ-\
plural donkeys

Kids Definition of donkey

: an animal related to but smaller than the horse that has short hair in mane and tail and very large ears

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on donkey

What made you want to look up donkey? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!