go·​an·​na gō-ˈa-nə How to pronounce goanna (audio)
: any of several large Australian monitor lizards (genus Varanus of the family Varanidae)

Examples of goanna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the backfilled goanna burrow kept going. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 25 June 2021 On the weekends, a group of us would go out to the bush, hunting for goanna, which is a kind of lizard. Brendan Borrell, Discover Magazine, 28 Feb. 2014 An Australian goanna, one of the many predatory species being wiped out by the invasive toads. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2015 But in a fishing village thousands of miles away, where giant goannas scuttled through gumtrees and kookaburras laughed, my siblings were hunting for wild animal scat and leaping into the ocean. New York Times, 17 Jan. 2020 In Australia, dingo, eagle, and goanna populations are likely to benefit from the ample carrion provided by these fires. Abby Jones, The Conversation, 10 Jan. 2020 However, the ongoing mass mortality of kangaroo, koala and other large animals will produce more carcasses than scavengers – eagles, dingoes and a species of reptiles known as goannas – can keep up with. Abby Jones, The Conversation, 10 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History


alteration of iguana

First Known Use

1811, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of goanna was in 1811

Dictionary Entries Near goanna

Cite this Entry

“Goanna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goanna. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!