don·​key | \ ˈdäŋ-kē How to pronounce donkey (audio) , ˈdəŋ- How to pronounce donkey (audio) , ˈdȯŋ- How to pronounce donkey (audio) \
plural donkeys

Definition of donkey

1 : the domestic ass (Equus asinus)
2 : a stupid or obstinate person

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for donkey


Visit the Thesaurus 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 The new mural incorporates bold and bright colors and depicts a donkey riding a bike. Shelby Stewart, Chron, 8 July 2021 At the petting zoo, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., guests can expect to see baby goats, rabbits, pigs, ducks and Root Beer the donkey. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 June 2021 In one corner of the monument most of the burials included skulls and appendages of donkey-like animals, probably interred as hides with heads and hooves still attached. Bridget Alex, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 June 2021 Razza, the police chief, said two sightings of the donkey were reported to police on Sunday, both near the Scituate border., 7 June 2021 The donkey was in the right hand lane, a look of determination on its face, trotting up Hartford Avenue on a hot Sunday., 7 June 2021 The frog beat over 12,000 entries nationwide, including a donkey, a miniature horse and a goat. Josh Rivera, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2021 The former governor of California often features his pals Lulu the donkey and her sibling, a mini horse named Whiskey, the true stars of the short-form videos. Rosy Cordero,, 16 May 2021 Breeders' Cup-winner Alphabet Soup spends all his time with a donkey named Gorgeous George. CBS News, 16 May 2021

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

Time Traveler for donkey

Time Traveler

The first known use of donkey was circa 1785

See more words from the same year

Statistics for donkey

Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Donkey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 How to pronounce donkey (audio) , 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

More from Merriam-Webster on donkey

Nglish: Translation of donkey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of donkey for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about donkey


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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