: 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.
: a cross between types of persons or things
the cinema is … a mongrel of virtually all the other artsGerald Mast
mongrel adjective
mongrelization noun
mongrelize 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 To continue playing the songs without that mongrel soul is just cash register stuff. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 9 Jan. 2024 And though not all 10 shows (and various bonuses) on my mostly chronological list below fit that mongrel category, even the gravest of them seem to have gotten the memo that theater should not be a bore or a drag. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, 4 Dec. 2023 There is also a peculiar effect whereby different books read by the same narrator can seem to agglutinate into a single mongrel super-book. Paul Grimstad, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2023 Dewey works best letting the excitement of Wolfe’s career rise speak for itself — his daring reportage should shame this era’s media mongrels. Armond White, National Review, 22 Sep. 2023 In the study, a team from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria used nine timber wolves and eight mongrel or mutt dogs living at the Wolf Science Center in Ernstbrunn, Austria. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 13 Sep. 2023 Koume, a 5-year-old mongrel, was handed an official letter of appreciation by local fire officials at a special ceremony last month for her valiant work at a horse riding club in Wakaba-ku, Chiba City. Junko Ogura, CNN, 9 May 2023 The dog is a mongrel—a Lab and something-else mix. Longreads, 19 Jan. 2022 Soon after, the Martins added another dog, a 2-month-old mongrel with a ripped ear who had been rescued off-base by soldiers who’d seen children picking on the pup. Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 20 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near mongrel

Cite this Entry

“Mongrel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: the offspring of parents of different breeds (as of dogs)
especially : one whose ancestors are unknown
: a person or thing of mixed origin


2 of 2 adjective
: of mixed or uncertain kind or origin

More from Merriam-Webster on mongrel

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