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 These three donkeys were taken to the sanctuary after their owner died. Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus crisis exacerbates struggles of animal sanctuaries in Spain," 20 Apr. 2020 In south Tunisia, two football fan brothers bump into a headphones-wearing donkey in the desert on the border of Algeria. Ben Flanagan |, al, "See every Oscar-nominated short film at Sidewalk Cinema this weekend," 31 Jan. 2020 The collection started in 1983 when an aunt died and left him a Cuban straw hat decorated with little palm trees and a man leading a donkey on a rope. Caitlin Anderson, Twin Cities, "Apple Valley’s ‘Hat Man’ wears crazy hats, makes people smile," 30 Dec. 2019 Between August and September, Howard County Animal Control officers removed more than 50 animals — including turtles, miniatures horses, a parrot and a donkey — from the puppy mill, police said. Jess Nocera,, "Police: Woodbine couple charged with more than 100 counts of animal cruelty, accused of running puppy mill," 8 Oct. 2019 Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoying a cigar in his hot tub while telling people to stay home was not a great look; nor was doing it from his lavish kitchen, alongside a miniature horse and donkey. Carina Chocano, New York Times, "What’s the Point of a Celebrity in a Pandemic?," 6 May 2020 Dunlap is the owner of Mambo, a 8-year-old miniature donkey at Peace N Peas Farm in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Tired of boring Zoom meetings? Rent this donkey. Or an alligator. Or a camel.," 22 Apr. 2020 Today, the descendants of those donkeys roam the island, protected like cows in India. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "Bonaire: A diver’s paradise where the massive coral reef teems with sea life and beauty," 12 Apr. 2020 Complete your tour by zipping over to Barnsley Farm to visit with miniature horses, donkeys, and goats. al, "Spend a weekend at this historic resort in Georgia," 22 Jan. 2020

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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Donkey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for donkey


How to pronounce donkey (audio) How to pronounce donkey (audio) How to pronounce donkey (audio)

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

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!