jack·​al | \ ˈja-kəl How to pronounce jackal (audio) also -ˌkȯl \

Definition of jackal

1 : any of several small omnivorous canids (such as Canis aureus) of Africa and Asia having large ears, long legs, and bushy tails
2a : a person who performs routine or menial tasks for another
b : a person who serves or collaborates with another especially in the commission of base acts

Examples of jackal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the clip, the honey badger is seen chasing the two jackals away from the python before ultimately coming out on top in the showdown. Fox News, "Shocking video of python, honey badger and jackals fighting each other goes viral," 11 Dec. 2019 Also known as brush wolves, prairie wolves, and American jackals, coyotes vary in size based on their geographical location. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 10 Best Coyote Cartridges," 17 Sep. 2019 Eastwood can’t resist adding extra relish; in one shot of the Journal-Constitution newsroom, when Scruggs gets a round of applause from her fellow jackals, the camera lingers and lingers on Wilde’s satanic glee. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Richard Jewell’ review: Clint Eastwood’s seething reminder that sometimes, the fake-news rap is legit," 4 Dec. 2019 At its core, there's something highly relatable about an ordinary guy being treated unfairly, having his life turned upside down by media jackals. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Richard Jewell' missteps turn Clint Eastwood's latest into a great-movie wannabe," 11 Dec. 2019 Even so, the lion was never associated strongly with a single deity such as the ibis to Thoth or the jackal to Anubis. Antoaneta Roussi, National Geographic, "Very rare lion mummies discovered in Egypt," 23 Nov. 2019 Predators include mongooses, genets, jackals, domestic dogs and cats, owls, and snakes. National Geographic, "Bush babies," 19 Nov. 2019 Of course, what underlaid each participant’s case for throwing someone else to the jackals weren’t tactics, or truth, but personal prerogatives. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "One More Thought on Succession’s Ridiculous Banter," 15 Oct. 2019 In the premiere pythons survive in Bangkok and Golden jackals thrive in Tel Aviv. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Almost Family’ on Fox," 1 Oct. 2019

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

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jackal

Turkish çakal, from Persian shaqāl, of Indo-Aryan origin; akin to Sanskrit sṛgāla jackal

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Time Traveler for jackal

Time Traveler

The first known use of jackal was in 1603

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Statistics for jackal

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jackal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jackal. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for jackal


How to pronounce jackal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jackal

: a wild dog found in Africa and Asia


jack·​al | \ ˈja-kəl How to pronounce jackal (audio) \

Kids Definition of jackal

: a wild dog of Africa and Asia like but smaller than a wolf

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More from Merriam-Webster on jackal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jackal

Spanish Central: Translation of jackal

Nglish: Translation of jackal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jackal

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