fau·na | \ˈfȯ-nə, ˈfä-\
plural faunas also faunae\ˈfȯ-ˌnē, -ˌnī, ˈfä- \

Definition of fauna 

: animal life especially : the animals characteristic of a region, period, or special environment the diverse fauna of the island — compare flora

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Other Words from fauna

faunal \ˈfȯ-nᵊl, ˈfä- \ adjective
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

Some clearly evoked the flora and fauna of Art Nouveau; others recalled the brash, geometric shapes of Cubism and Art Deco. Sam Lubell, New York Times, "A Glasgow Architect’s Masterpiece Is Damaged, but Not His Magic," 2 July 2018 The National Park Service website provides planning tools, links to park concessions (lodging, vendors), maps, suggested driving routes and trails, and information on each park’s history, flora and fauna that will make your visit more enjoyable. David Swanson, latimes.com, "National parks where you can find solitude in summer," 1 July 2018 But the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History places special emphasis on the flora and fauna indigenous to the Holy Land and Middle East. Oded Balilty, Fox News, "AP PHOTOS: Long-dead critters animate Israel's nature museum," 11 June 2018 This 311-acre natural area features a diversity of both flora and fauna, and nature education classes. Mary Mills Heidbrink, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio offers multitude of choices for getting back to nature," 11 June 2018 When Nadal is set loose in his natural habitat, the rest of the tennis fauna is rendered prey. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Eleventh heaven: Nadal As Good As Ever in Winning 11th French Open," 10 June 2018 Not only is the beauty of the flora captured, but the spirit of the fauna is expressed as well. Homes & Gardens Of The Northwest Staff, OregonLive.com, "Garden book review: Walk through the beautiful pages of 'Living Forest'," 20 Mar. 2018 The designs include Folkland, an enchanted scene of flora and fauna, Vreeland, which pays homage to the fashion icon in 1970s glory, and Kimono, which features a chair-scale pattern with an Asian-inspiration. Jen Derose, House Beautiful, "Global Style: Robert Allen and DwellStudio's New Fabric Collection," 3 Oct. 2013 African Parks assumes day-to-day management of countries' wildlife areas, seeking more efficiency and accountability in the campaign to protect flora and fauna from poaching and habitat depletion. Christopher Torchia, Fox News, "Backed by Prince Harry, conservation group expands in Africa," 7 July 2018

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

1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fauna

New Latin, from Latin Fauna, sister of Faunus

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Dictionary Entries near fauna


fault zone



faunal area



Statistics for fauna

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fauna

The first known use of fauna was in 1771

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More Definitions for fauna



English Language Learners Definition of fauna

biology : all the animals that live in a particular area, time period, or environment


fau·na | \ˈfȯ-nə \

Kids Definition of fauna

: the animal life typical of a region, period, or special environment the island's fauna


fau·na | \ˈfȯn-ə, ˈfän- \
plural faunas also faunae\-ˌē, -ˌī \

Medical Definition of fauna 

: animal life especially : the animals characteristic of a region, period, or special environment — compare flora sense 1

Other Words from fauna

faunal \-ᵊl \ adjective
faunally \-ᵊl-ē \ adverb

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