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

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Synonyms for donkey


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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 During Monday's season 19 premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres gave guest Jimmy Kimmel a plastic donkey that could eject cigarettes from its behind. Dory Jackson,, 13 Sep. 2021 My mother bought me a little donkey made of red clay. Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 Some though prefer to try and pin the tail on just one donkey by contending that only drivers are at fault, or perhaps that only pedestrians are at fault. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 19 May 2021 The donkey dangled on a leather strap, it was meant as a necklace. Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 Her other animals, 2-week-old calves, another donkey, seven goats, two pigs and some chickens, seemed to be okay. Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2021 Tickets allow access to the trucks, entertainment and free mechanical bull and donkey rides. Susan Dunne,, 28 July 2021 The farm is also home to several animals, including Minnie, a friendly Harlequin-colored Great Dane; a donkey named Diego; and several sheep and alpacas., 20 July 2021 The whimsical series for children ages 3-5 starts airing Monday and centers on the adventures of Donkey Hodie, an enthusiastic yellow donkey with a bright magenta mane. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, 3 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.

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First Known Use of donkey

circa 1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for donkey

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for donkey

Time Traveler

The first known use of donkey was circa 1785

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Dictionary Entries Near donkey



donkey's breakfast

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Statistics for donkey

Last Updated

26 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Donkey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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


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