gua·​na·​co | \ gwə-ˈnä-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce guanaco (audio) \
plural guanacos also guanaco

Definition of guanaco

: a long-necked South American mammal (Lama guanicoe) of dry, open country that has a soft, thick fawn-colored coat, is related to the camel but lacks a dorsal hump, and is considered to be the ancestor of the domesticated llama — compare alpaca, llama

Illustration of guanaco

Illustration of guanaco

Examples of guanaco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Abundant wildlife includes many varieties of birds, along with guanaco, the endangered huemul deer, puma (cougars) and the massive Andean condors. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 There, near the border with Chile, subantarctic forests preserve habitats for the guemal, puma, rhea, condor, and guanaco. National Geographic, 17 Nov. 2020 There, near the border with Chile, the 1,722-square-mile park encompasses subantarctic forests that preserve habitats for species such as the guemal, puma, rhea, condor, guanaco, and the calafate plant. Melissa Findley, National Geographic, 20 Nov. 2020 The pits also held bone fragments of Andean deer and camelids, such as vicuña or guanaco. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 4 Nov. 2020 The puma grips the fallen guanaco’s neck with her heavy teeth, and begins to drag its massive, flaccid corpse up and over the high plains of the southern Andes, toward the spot where her hungry cubs are waiting. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2020 The guanaco, three times the cat’s size, bucks and kicks wildly, its fur ripping away in gauzy chunks under the cat’s claws. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2020 This picture shows huge lenticular clouds behind the silhouette of a guanaco, a llama-like animal native to South America. National Geographic, 21 Jan. 2020 The guanaco, three times heavier than the female puma, managed to escape. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, 15 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guanaco.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of guanaco

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for guanaco

Spanish, from Quechua wanaku

Learn More About guanaco

Time Traveler for guanaco

Time Traveler

The first known use of guanaco was in 1604

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near guanaco




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for guanaco

Cite this Entry

“Guanaco.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on guanaco

Nglish: Translation of guanaco for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about guanaco


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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