fau·​na ˈfȯ-nə How to pronounce fauna (audio)
plural faunas also faunae ˈfȯ-ˌnē How to pronounce fauna (audio)
: animal life
especially : the animals characteristic of a region, period, or special environment
the diverse fauna of the island
compare flora
ˈfȯ-nᵊl How to pronounce fauna (audio)
faunally adverb

Did you know?

Faunus and Fauna were the Roman woodland god and goddess for whom animals were a particular concern. Faunus was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan, and like Pan, he had goats' legs. Their goat-legged helpers, called fauns, were known for their love of pleasure and mischief. The fauna of a continent are often very similar across a broad east-west band; from north to south, however, they may vary greatly.

Examples of fauna in a Sentence

studying the diverse fauna of the island studying the faunas of different islands
Recent Examples on the Web Sanctuary Cap Cana prioritizes sustainability and protecting the environment by using renewable energy sources, conserving local flora and fauna, and operating an on-site organic farm to supply fresh produce to its restaurants. Ryan Smith, Travel + Leisure, 5 June 2024 Travelers will have the opportunity to see water buffalo, lotus ponds, rice paddies, and other local flora and fauna. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 13 May 2024 But North America has vastly different ecological communities, composed of unique flora and fauna. Christina Grozinger, Discover Magazine, 22 May 2024 Fires have grown more and more severe due to rising global temperatures, posing a greater risk to flora, fauna and residents in cities and rural areas alike. Tyrone Beason, Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for fauna 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fauna.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin Fauna, sister of Faunus

First Known Use

1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fauna was in 1771

Dictionary Entries Near fauna

Cite this Entry

“Fauna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fauna. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


fau·​na ˈfȯn-ə How to pronounce fauna (audio)
plural faunas also faunae -ˌē How to pronounce fauna (audio)
: animals or animal life especially of a region, period, or environment
faunal adjective

Medical Definition


plural faunas also faunae -ˌē How to pronounce fauna (audio) -ˌī How to pronounce fauna (audio)
: animal life
especially : the animals characteristic of a region, period, or special environment compare flora sense 1
faunal adjective
faunally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fauna

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