mam·​mal | \ ˈma-məl How to pronounce mammal (audio) \

Definition of mammal

: any of a class (Mammalia) of warm-blooded higher vertebrates (such as placentals, marsupials, or monotremes) that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usually more or less covered with hair, and include humans

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Other Words from mammal

mammalian \ mə-​ˈmā-​lē-​ən How to pronounce mammal (audio) , ma-​ \ adjective or noun
mammal-like \ ˈma-​məl-​ˌlīk How to pronounce mammal (audio) \ or less commonly mammallike adjective
mammal-like behavior mammallike reptiles

Examples of mammal in a Sentence

Human beings, dogs, and cats are all mammals.
Recent Examples on the Web Nevada Science Center Research Director Joshua Bonde said the bones are between 6,000 and 14,000 years old and are those of a horse or similar large mammal. NBC News, "Israeli stampede tragedy, 'blind' spots in vaccine data and an unusual Las Vegas discovery," 30 Apr. 2021 One Democratic representative, Fentrice Driskell of Tampa, framed the debate as similar to the hunt for the chupacabra, the mythical, nightmarish mammal-gobbling and goat-blood-sucking beast. New York Times, "Florida Republicans Pass Voting Limits in Broad Elections Bill," 29 Apr. 2021 The scientists tracked the mammal, bird and insect species living there before, during and after the cicadas emerged. Jillian Mock, Scientific American, "Brood X Cicadas Could Cause a Bird Baby Boom," 9 Apr. 2021 Scientists have discovered that a seven-pound African mammal called a springhare has fur that glows in shades of red and pink under ultraviolet light, reports Cara Giaimo for the New York Times. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Bouncing African Mammal Glows Under UV Light," 25 Feb. 2021 The zoo was founded in 1892 as a miniature mammal and bird display in Washington Park, according to the zoo's website. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are 23 things we love about Milwaukee in honor of its 175th year as a city," 14 Apr. 2021 To date, almost 25% of the sea lions that first responders bring to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito have died of this one aggressive cancer — among the highest prevalence of a single type of cancer in any mammal, including humans. Rosanna Xia, Star Tribune, "Sea lions are dying from a mysterious cancer. The culprits? Herpes and DDT," 11 Mar. 2021 Known to experts as PP-00128, the fragment of bone found in a southeastern Alaskan cave seemed to be from some large mammal that lived in the area thousands of years ago. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ancient DNA Reveals the Oldest Domesticated Dog in the Americas," 24 Feb. 2021 From estimates of as few as 300 there are now more than 350,000 and the animal is a symbol of America, appearing on seals and flags, even becoming the national mammal of the United States in 2016. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "'Happy to save a life': How Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept a buffalo from killing Conor Daly," 18 Mar. 2021

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

1811, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mammal

from base of New Latin Mammalia (Linnaeus), class name, noun derivative from neuter plural of mammālis, from Latin mamma "breast, udder" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at mamma

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Statistics for mammal

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mammal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mammal



English Language Learners Definition of mammal

: a type of animal that feeds milk to its young and that usually has hair or fur covering most of its skin


mam·​mal | \ ˈma-məl How to pronounce mammal (audio) \

Kids Definition of mammal

: a warm-blooded animal (as a dog, mouse, bear, whale, or human being) with a backbone that feeds its young with milk produced by the mother and has skin usually more or less covered with hair


mam·​mal | \ ˈmam-əl How to pronounce mammal (audio) \

Medical Definition of mammal

: any of the higher vertebrate animals comprising the class Mammalia

Other Words from mammal

mammalian \ mə-​ˈmā-​lē-​ən, ma-​ How to pronounce mammal (audio) \ adjective or noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on mammal

Nglish: Translation of mammal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mammal for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mammal

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