mon·​grel | \ ˈmäŋ-grəl How to pronounce mongrel (audio) , ˈməŋ- How to pronounce mongrel (audio) \

Definition of mongrel

1 : an individual resulting from the interbreeding of diverse breeds (see breed entry 2 sense 1) or strains (see strain entry 1 sense 1) especially : one of unknown ancestry She owns several dogs, one of which is a mongrel.
2 : a cross between types of persons or things the cinema is … a mongrel of virtually all the other arts— Gerald Mast

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Other Words from mongrel

mongrel adjective
mongrelization \ ˌmäŋ-​grə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce mongrelization (audio) , ˌməŋ-​ \ noun
mongrelize \ ˈmäŋ-​grə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce mongrelize (audio) , ˈməŋ-​ \ transitive verb

Examples of mongrel in a Sentence

She owns several dogs, including a mongrel named Stella. mongrels often suffer fewer health problems than purebreds

Recent Examples on the Web

By contrast, China’s political system—a mongrel of autocratic capitalism and democratic socialism—is not compatible with progress and growth in the long run. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Big Brother Isn’t Watching You," 4 Nov. 2018 Mind you, this is still something of a mongrel design: the rear of the Starling card is still set up in landscape, perhaps to retain compatibility and some level of familiarity. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Portrait bank cards are a thing now," 27 July 2018 What do the words politicaster, mongrel, and braggart have in common? Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "When good words turn bad," 28 June 2018 This team is perhaps not quite so fluid, or quite suffocating in its possession, but Costa gives it a sense of mongrel Vicente Del Bosque’s sides at times lacked. Jonathan Wilson,, "Spain Stable but Still Finding Footing at World Cup Under Band-Aid Manager Hierro," 20 June 2018 There's a hint of mongrel romance between Chief and a posh show dog named Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson), and prescient visions courtesy of a TV-addicted pooch named Oracle (Tilda Swinton). Justin Chang,, "Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' is often captivating, but cultural sensitivity gets lost in translation," 21 Mar. 2018 In an entertainment world more cacophonous than a kennel, bringing back such an exceedingly wholesome creature is a kind of a test: Can the humble, wordless tricks of a mongrel born and bred in the '70s still charm young viewers? Jake Coyle,, "In reboot for Netflix, 'Benji' is still a good boy," 14 Mar. 2018 The last and extreme sign of a mongrel identity under constant transformation. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Gucci Show Features Fake Heads and Eyes Milan Fashion Week," 21 Feb. 2018 The center houses about 15 mongrel dogs and seven small packs of timber wolves, with two to three wolves in each pack. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Why wolves are better team players than dogs," 16 Oct. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mongrel

Middle English, probably from mong mixture, short for ymong, from Old English gemong crowd — more at among

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Time Traveler for mongrel

The first known use of mongrel was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for mongrel



English Language Learners Definition of mongrel

: a dog with parents of different breeds


mon·​grel | \ ˈmäŋ-grəl How to pronounce mongrel (audio) , ˈməŋ-\

Kids Definition of mongrel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an animal of mixed or uncertain origin



Kids Definition of mongrel (Entry 2 of 2)

: of mixed or uncertain origin a mongrel dog

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More from Merriam-Webster on mongrel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mongrel

Spanish Central: Translation of mongrel

Nglish: Translation of mongrel for Spanish Speakers

Comments on mongrel

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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