ma·​hout | \mə-ˈhau̇t \

Definition of mahout 

: a keeper and driver of an elephant

Examples of mahout in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In elephant polo, the player is positioned on the animal's back, while the mahout sits close to its head. Ross Kenneth Urken, Town & Country, "Meet the Only All-Female Team at Bangkok’s Storied Elephant Polo Tournament," 6 Apr. 2018 Nelson, a gentle giant named after a prominent local palm oil executive, has a tusk-sized hole in his ear from when a wild male elephant attacked him during one of the clearance operations, making him something of a hero to the squadron’s mahouts. Jon Emont, New York Times, "Wildlife Detectives Pursue the Case of Dwindling Elephants in Indonesia," 11 Jan. 2018 Directed by his mahout, Rambahadur started to whack the cat with its trunk in an attempt to shoo it back towards the reserve. The Economist, "A tiger’s taleWhat an Indian tiger’s bid for freedom says about humans and nature," 20 Dec. 2017 On the outskirts of Jaipur’s Pink City, an elephant trudged along a paved highway into town, carrying its mahout – minder – and a huge stack of grain on its flanks. Christopher Smith, Orange County Register, "6 takeaways from a trip to complex, scenic, colorful India," 11 May 2017 One post was about a temple elephant named Vedakkumnathan Ganapathy who killed his mahout. National Geographic, "New Film Shows Brutalization of Temple Elephants in India," 25 May 2016 Not long ago, mahouts prodded their working elephants to help push trucks free of muddy quagmires on the road. Doug Clark, New York Times, "In Myanmar, a Lake That Sustained Generations Feels Strains," 28 May 2017 When the elephants come out of their musth, the mahouts believe the elephants have forgotten their commands. National Geographic, "New Film Shows Brutalization of Temple Elephants in India," 25 May 2016 In India, a mahout is someone who rides an elephant. Cade Metz, WIRED, "Mahout, There It Is! Open Source Algorithms Remake," 18 Dec. 2012

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

See More

First Known Use of mahout

1662, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mahout

Hindi & Urdu mahāwat, mahāut

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mahout

Dictionary Entries near mahout


Mahon stock






Statistics for mahout

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mahout

The first known use of mahout was in 1662

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on mahout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mahout Encyclopedia article about mahout

Comments on mahout

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!