jag·​uar | \ ˈja-ˌgwär How to pronounce jaguar (audio) , -gyə-ˌwär How to pronounce jaguar (audio) , -gwər; dialectal -gwī(-ə)r, especially British ˈja-gyə-wər \
plural jaguars also jaguar

Definition of jaguar

: a large cat (Panthera onca) chiefly of Central and South America that is larger and stockier than the leopard and is brownish yellow or buff with black spots

Illustration of jaguar

Illustration of jaguar

Did you know?

The jaguar is the largest New World cat. It was once found in wooded regions from the U.S.-Mexican border south to Patagonia, Currently, the jaguar survives, in reduced numbers, only in remote areas of Central and South America; the largest known population is in the Amazon rain forest. The male is 5.5-9.0 ft. (1.7-2.7 m) long, including the tail, which measures 23-35-in. (60-90-cm) long, and weighs 220-350 lbs. (100-160 kg). The coat is typically orange-tan with black spots arranged in rosettes with a black spot in the center. A solitary predator, the jaguar usually hunts rodents, deer, birds, and fish; it will also take cattle, horses, and dogs.

Examples of jaguar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The last female jaguar in the U.S. was killed in Arizona in 1949. Ganesh Marin, The Conversation, 19 Apr. 2022 Llescas Furter recalls a brief, up-close encounter with a wild jaguar that the team had trapped and tranquilized. Emiliano Ruprah, Wired, 31 July 2021 But the results are masks covered in brilliant images, like the sharp, triangular-toothed, bright-orange jaguar. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 June 2020 The lions, tigers, cheetahs, snow leopards and jaguars are often given cardboard boxes to shred as enrichment but that stopped because of questions about how long coronavirus might remain on cardboard. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 May 2020 Indy Prize: Face-to-face with a jaguar: This Indy Prize finalist grew to love animals at an early age Earle's career of ocean exploration has been extensive. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, 8 May 2020 In his first scene, Karamakate is drawing what looks like a jaguar on a large rock by a river, wearing a loincloth and a necklace made of crocodile teeth. Camila Osorio, The New Yorker, 27 May 2020 Their home is guarded by two mastiffs, and jaguars and tigers frequently roam around their eight-acre yard. Washington Post, 9 May 2020 By this point, the animal cast numbered 132 lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and jaguars, as well as a 10,000-pound bull elephant named Timbo, which Marshall and Hedren acquired from an animal park in Canada. Clark Collis,, 7 Apr. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of jaguar

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jaguar

Portuguese, from Tupi jawára large carnivore

Learn More About jaguar

Dictionary Entries Near jaguar




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for jaguar

Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jaguar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for jaguar


jag·​uar | \ ˈjag-ˌwär How to pronounce jaguar (audio) \

Kids Definition of jaguar

: a large yellowish brown black-spotted animal of the cat family found chiefly from Mexico to Argentina

More from Merriam-Webster on jaguar

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
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!