mar·​gay | \ ˈmär-ˌgā How to pronounce margay (audio) , mär-ˈgā How to pronounce margay (audio) \

Definition of margay

: a small American spotted cat (Felis wiedii) resembling the ocelot and ranging from northern Mexico to Argentina

Illustration of margay

Illustration of margay

Examples of margay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Scientists are trying to learn more about the diverse and unique environment, where jaguars and margays roam the savannah and jungles, and river dolphins swim in the Guayabero River. Murray Carpenter, New York Times, "Scientists Fear for Colombia’s ‘Melted Rainbow’," 26 Feb. 2018 An entire row of shelves 50 feet long and 10 feet high is dedicated to the hides and mounted heads of big cats—cheetahs, tigers, jaguars, margays, ocelots, leopards. National Geographic, "See What's Inside This Grisly Warehouse of Wildlife Trafficking," 1 Mar. 2016 Curiously, one common observation was that margays mimic the calls of prey species to lure them out. Brian Switek, WIRED, "Margays mimick monkey calls to lure their prey," 2 Apr. 2010

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

1775, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for margay

French, ultimately from Tupi marakajá

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about margay

Time Traveler for margay

Time Traveler

The first known use of margay was in 1775

See more words from the same year

Statistics for margay

Cite this Entry

“Margay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on margay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with margay

Nglish: Translation of margay for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about margay

Comments on margay

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!