drom·​e·​dary | \ ˈdrä-mə-ˌder-ē How to pronounce dromedary (audio) also ˈdrə-, -ˌde-rē \
plural dromedaries

Definition of dromedary

: the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) currently existing only as a domestic or feral animal … it was only the introduction of the dromedary to North Africa about the second century A.D. that made feasible in terms of costs and risks regular caravan trade from one rim of the Western Sahara to the other.— Ross E. Dunn

Examples of dromedary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The single-humped dromedaries are indeed not native to the island nation, and their ability to adapt and grow their population in the arid landscape has been causing problems. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "Heat and drought are causing feral camels to overrun communities in Australia," 17 Jan. 2020 In most of the world, camels come in two types: two-humped Bactrian and one-humped dromedary. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "How Many Humps on a Camel? In Kazakhstan, It’s Complicated," 1 Sep. 2019 The most common hybrid is achieved by mating a Bactrian male, with its two distinct humps and a pronounced dip between them, with a female dromedary. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "How Many Humps on a Camel? In Kazakhstan, It’s Complicated," 1 Sep. 2019 In another breakthrough in crossbreeding, in the 1990s scientists bred a llama — a relative of the camel — and a dromedary, resulting in a beast called the cama. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "How Many Humps on a Camel? In Kazakhstan, It’s Complicated," 1 Sep. 2019 Greek, Turkish, and Arab camel drivers from the Eastern Mediterranean who have arrived in America with a boatload of dromedaries, which are the first of their kind to set foot on the continent since their progenitors died out in the last Ice Age. Francisco Cantú, The New Yorker, "Téa Obreht Reimagines the Western," 12 Aug. 2019 Code enforcement officials were unaware a neighbor had camels until a broadcast report showed a grainy photo of the dromedaries on the 13-acre estate. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Orange County decides: goats are a no go in residential neighborhoods," 12 June 2019 And 900 miles almost due south, Timbuktu, in Mali, from which, beginning in the 8th century, caravans as large as 20,000 dromedaries made their way north laden with gold, slaves, ivory, and salt. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "T&C Travel: Best of Morocco," 30 Mar. 2015 Traffic speeds east and west three or four lanes wide beside the narrowest of shoulders, while on abutting sidewalks, pedestrians are encountered as rarely as dromedaries trudging across empty stretches of Sahara. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "Fly On, My Sleek Electric Bird," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dromedary.' 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 dromedary

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dromedary

Middle English dromedarie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin dromedarius, from Latin dromad-, dromas, from Greek, running; akin to Greek dramein to run, dromos racecourse, Sanskrit dramati he runs about

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Time Traveler for dromedary

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The first known use of dromedary was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dromedary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dromedary. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dromedary


How to pronounce dromedary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dromedary

: a camel of western Asia and northern Africa that has one hump on its back


drom·​e·​dary | \ ˈdrä-mə-ˌder-ē How to pronounce dromedary (audio) \
plural dromedaries

Kids Definition of dromedary

: the camel of western Asia and northern Africa that has only one hump

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Spanish Central: Translation of dromedary

Nglish: Translation of dromedary for Spanish Speakers

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