: 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 When their funding was exhausted and Foster left for Borneo, Ms. Matola found herself alone with 20 or so animals — among them two jaguars, the small wild cat known as a margay, several piglike peccaries, a few parrots and the long-nosed tapir that is Belize’s national animal. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2021 The margay's acting skills may soon prove crucial, since the South American species is threatened by hunting, the pet trade, and habitat destruction. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 14 July 2010 First there was the margay, a small South American cat. The Indianapolis Star, 22 Nov. 2022 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, 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, 1 Mar. 2016 Curiously, one common observation was that margays mimic the calls of prey species to lure them out. Brian Switek, WIRED, 2 Apr. 2010 See More

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

Word History


French, ultimately from Tupi marakajá

First Known Use

1775, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of margay was in 1775

Dictionary Entries Near margay

Cite this Entry

“Margay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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