fau·​na | \ ˈfȯ-nə How to pronounce fauna (audio) , ˈfä- \
plural faunas also faunae\ ˈfȯ-​ˌnē How to pronounce faunae (audio) , -​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 How to pronounce faunal (audio) , 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 Many buildings in New Haven are made of traprock, including some of the marvelous churches that grow older and emptier every year as God blinks out brain by brain like the species of flora and fauna that go extinct every day as ecosystems implode. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020 Significant buildings continue to be discovered and painstakingly preserved, such as the Temple of the Winged Lions and a Byzantine church with exquisite mosaic depictions of local fauna. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019 These practices include cutting back on energy and water consumption in their rooms, recycling, disposing food/waste responsibly, and being respectful of the surrounding flora and fauna. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "This Eco-Friendly Rainforest Resort Opening in Singapore Will Consist of 24 Tree Houses With 338 Rooms," 21 Feb. 2020 Flora and fauna begin preparing for the rare event, lying in wait for the first few drops. Luke Runyon, azcentral, "Climate change is making life hard for desert tortoises in the Southwest," 9 Feb. 2020 But devastating wildfires over recent days have undone decades of careful conservation work on Kangaroo Island and have threatened to wipe out some of the island’s unique fauna altogether. Nick Perry, BostonGlobe.com, "Wildfires threaten unique critters on Australian ‘Galapagos’," 5 Jan. 2020 The region is unique for its biodiversity and confluence of subtropical and temperate flora and fauna. Erin Stone, azcentral, "Imperiled ocelots found south of the U.S.-Mexico border, renewing concerns about a wall," 1 Feb. 2020 Australia has always been known as the country, home to not only exotic flora and fauna but to amazing people as well. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Australian K-Pop Stars Express Concern for Country Amid Fires," 10 Jan. 2020 And as PopSci has previously reported, the interruption of local flora and fauna will only make environmental catastrophe more likely in the future. Popular Science, "Australia’s government needs to take drastic action to prevent future fires—and so do the rest of us," 9 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for fauna

Time Traveler

The first known use of fauna was in 1771

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Statistics for fauna

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fauna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fauna. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for fauna


How to pronounce fauna (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fauna

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


fau·​na | \ ˈfȯ-nə How to pronounce fauna (audio) \

Kids Definition of fauna

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


fau·​na | \ ˈfȯn-ə, ˈfän- How to pronounce fauna (audio) \
plural faunas also faunae\ -​ˌē How to pronounce faunae (audio) , -​ˌī How to pronounce faunae (audio) \

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 How to pronounce faunal (audio) \ adjective
faunally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce faunally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on fauna

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fauna

Spanish Central: Translation of fauna

Nglish: Translation of fauna for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fauna for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fauna

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