jack·al | \ˈja-kəl 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

So jackals at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaped. George Skelton, latimes.com, "Give California’s top-two primary some more time, and if it doesn’t get better, junk it," 11 June 2018 Hyenas chased off the smaller jackals, fighting amongst themselves for the prize. National Geographic, "Our Favorite Lion Videos Reveal the Power of Predators," 10 Aug. 2017 Without light, the snipers and jackals patrolling the streets disappear. Charles Theel, Ars Technica, "This War of Mine," 28 Oct. 2017 Even a jackal move – firing or reassigning Pagano and replacing him with Arians – wouldn’t have worked, because Arians wouldn’t have taken the job under those conditions. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: The uncomfortable truth – Bruce Arians is a better coach than Chuck Pagano," 14 Sep. 2017 His regiment occasionally found time to hunt on horseback for jackals. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Michael Sandberg Dragged HSBC Into the Post-Colonial World," 14 July 2017 Today, meat-eaters in Africa like hyenas, jackals and big cats are all adding to tomorrow’s fossil record, says says Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Briana. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "Why Paleontologists Should Love Meat-Eaters," 30 Jan. 2017 To your health: Hey look, everybody, there goes Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chased by a pack of rabid jackals a group of Capitol reporters. Dan Sweeney, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Wasserman Schultz back in the hot seat," 27 July 2017 With his health on the decline, jackals are stalking the streets and carving out slices of territory to pick clean. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire," 8 July 2017

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

The first known use of jackal was in 1603

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More Definitions for jackal



English Language Learners Definition of jackal

: a wild dog found in Africa and Asia


jack·al | \ˈja-kəl \

Kids Definition of jackal

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

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Comments on jackal

What made you want to look up jackal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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