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

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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 Khan’s previous Kismet was a stunner, a 312-footer with a basketball court, video walls, a removable silver jaguar on the bowsprit and one of the most electric interiors on the water. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 8 July 2024 In the wild, tapirs face predation from large cats, such as jaguars and pumas in the Americas and tigers in Asia, as well as crocodiles. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 4 July 2024 The mother is part of a reintroduction program, the center said, which aims to grow the population and range of Argentinian jaguars. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 31 May 2024 At Stone Zoo, that includes the jaguar, snow leopards, black bears and white-cheeked gibbons. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for jaguar 

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

Word History


Portuguese, from Tupi jawára large carnivore

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jaguar was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near jaguar

Cite this Entry

“Jaguar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


jag·​uar ˈjag(-yə)-ˌwär How to pronounce jaguar (audio)
: a large yellowish brown black-spotted cat of tropical America that is larger and has a more solid build than the leopard

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