\ ˈdəŋ How to pronounce dung (audio) \

Definition of dung

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the feces of an animal : manure
2 : something repulsive


dunged; dunging; dungs

Definition of dung (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fertilize or dress with manure

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Other Words from dung


dungy \ ˈdəŋ-​ē How to pronounce dungy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of dung in a Sentence


researchers tracked the wild gorillas by following the piles of dung

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

More than 500 firefighters were deployed to fight a wildfire — likely caused by chicken dung spontaneously combusting — in the Tarragona province of Catalonia. Washington Post, "Melting autobahns, jaguars in pools, naked men on scooters. Europe faces an early summer ‘inferno’," 27 June 2019 And unlike typical pharmaceuticals, which are purposefully concocted, dung can come with potentially harmful components, such as pathogens and toxins. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "One dead after poop transplant gone wrong, FDA warns," 14 June 2019 And the armadillos have a co-dependent relationship with the vegetation in their sandy-soil habitat: Roots of plants anchor the soil, preventing the burrows from caving in, and armadillo dung provides nutrients that help sustain the plants. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Endangered armadillos are being turned into carnival rattles," 22 Feb. 2019 Based on the insects’ habitat and preferred food, and pollen also retrieved from the sample, the site may have been woodland, with large herbivores present — one of the beetle species found fed on their dung. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Rising Seas Swallowed Countless Archaeological Sites. Scientists Want Them Back," 20 May 2019 Wasser and his colleagues built a reference map of genetic variations in elephant populations across Africa by extracting and analyzing DNA from thousands of dung samples collected by park rangers, scientists and volunteers. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Sam Wasser pours his intense passion for protecting wildlife into research and catching poachers," 21 May 2019 One 4-year-old girl, Marwa, lost both her twin sister, Safwa, and their mother, Brekhna, who had been nearby making dung cakes for fuel. New York Times, "One Family’s Toll on a Cruel Day: 7 Children With Amputated Legs," 3 June 2018 The new work builds on more than a decade of research by the UW team, which first analyzed thousands of elephant dung samples from across Africa to document genetic diversity and distinguish different elephant populations. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Who’s killing Africa’s elephants? UW study identifies ivory trafficking cartels," 24 Sep. 2018 The lake cores contain less forest pollen and more from grasses and flowering meadow plants, mixed with the spores of fungi that thrive on cattle dung. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Supposedly pristine South American forest had been pre-Columbian farmland," 17 July 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for dung


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old Norse dyngja manure pile

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Dictionary Entries near dung

dune plant







Statistics for dung

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dung

The first known use of dung was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dung



English Language Learners Definition of dung

: solid waste from an animal


\ ˈdəŋ How to pronounce dung (audio) \

Kids Definition of dung

: solid waste matter from an animal

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More from Merriam-Webster on dung

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dung

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dung

Spanish Central: Translation of dung

Nglish: Translation of dung for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dung for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dung

Comments on dung

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to complain fretfully

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