1 of 2

noun (1)

kel·​pie ˈkel-pē How to pronounce kelpie (audio)
: any of a breed of energetic working dogs developed in Australia from British sheepdogs


2 of 2

noun (2)

: a water sprite of Scottish folklore that delights in or brings about the drowning of wayfarers

Examples of kelpie in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Although many folklorists and historians believe this story belongs to the older tradition of kelpie and water horse legends, accounts of Loch Ness’s cryptid continued to pop up in history, with various sightings being reported over the centuries. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2024 Untangling Scotland’s Century-Old Fossil Fish Mystery When was the First Sighting of the Loch Ness Monster? Falkirk Scotland: The Kelpies are 30-meter-high (98 ft) horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies (shape-shifting water spirits). Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2024 Even Paddy’s kelpie was a troublemaker. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2023 In various 1,500-year-old texts, sea serpents, water horses, and water kelpie were all observed in Scotland’s waterways. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, 29 Mar. 2022 Three times, the team gave the Australian kelpie the command to round up the flock of 46 sheep. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 23 July 2012

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Kelpie, name of a dog of this breed

Noun (2)

perhaps from Scottish Gaelic cailpeach, colpach heifer, colt

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1903, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1747, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kelpie was in 1747

Dictionary Entries Near kelpie

Cite this Entry

“Kelpie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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