lla·​ma | \ ˈlä-mə How to pronounce llama (audio) , ˈyä-mə How to pronounce llama (audio) \

Definition of llama

: any of a genus (Lama) of wild or domesticated, long-necked, South American ruminant (see ruminant entry 1) mammals related to the camels but smaller and without a hump especially : a domesticated llama (L. glama) descended from the guanaco and used especially in the Andes as a pack animal and a source of wool

Illustration of llama

Illustration of llama

Examples of llama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The llama represents the Inca’s sturdy beast of burden. National Geographic, "Centuries-old Inca offering discovered in sacred lake," 4 Aug. 2020 At the University of Reading, scientists introduced Fifi the llama to harmless virus proteins. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine, "Llama Cells Could Help Scientists Create a COVID-19 Treatment," 17 July 2020 Liz Miller broke up the monotony by bringing a live llama into her Zoom video meeting. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Another Zoom meeting? Make video presentations more interesting with filters, polls and live animals," 19 Aug. 2020 Inside, the team found a small, coral-colored figurine of a llama made from the shell of a rare spiny oyster. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine, "Inca Llama Carving Recovered From Depths of Lake Titicaca," 5 Aug. 2020 Inside the box, the scientists found a tiny rolled cylinder of gold sheeting and a figurine of a llama made from Spondylus, the coral-hued shell of a spiny oyster that was rare and valuable. National Geographic, "Centuries-old Inca offering discovered in sacred lake," 4 Aug. 2020 The offering, which was placed in the lake more than 500 years ago, contains a miniature gold bracelet and a llama or alpaca figurine carved from shell. Fox News, "500-year-old Inca offering discovered in lake that may have been used for human sacrifices," 5 Aug. 2020 Thus was born the llama, and the animal has been an emblem of the Andes ever since. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "How Llama Antibodies Could Help Fight the Coronavirus," 19 June 2020 At the time, neighbors claimed to reporters and to law enforcement officials that Mr. Yates had bear cubs, Rottweilers, rabbits, hyenas, monkeys, snakes, a llama, a tarantula and even a young lion. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "A 425-Pound Tiger Living in a Harlem Apartment? Yes, It Happened," 18 Apr. 2020

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

1600, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for llama

Spanish, from Quechua

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Time Traveler for llama

Time Traveler

The first known use of llama was in 1600

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Llama.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/llama. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for llama


How to pronounce llama (audio) How to pronounce llama (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of llama

: a South American animal that has a long neck and thick fur and that is used for its wool and for carrying things


lla·​ma | \ ˈlä-mə How to pronounce llama (audio) \

Kids Definition of llama

: a South American hoofed animal that has a long neck, is related to the camel, and is sometimes used to carry loads and as a source of wool

More from Merriam-Webster on llama

Nglish: Translation of llama for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about llama

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