on·​a·​ger | \ ˈä-ni-jər How to pronounce onager (audio) \

Definition of onager

1 : an Asian wild ass (Equus hemionus onager synonym E. onager) that usually has a broad dorsal stripe and is related to the kiang
2 [Late Latin, from Latin] : a heavy catapult used in ancient and medieval times

Illustration of onager

Illustration of onager

onager 2

Examples of onager in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Researchers have uncovered thousands of bone fragments at the site, including remains from horses, extinct wild oxen known as aurochs, and donkey relatives called onagers. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, 24 July 2019 The two of them once passed two very happy weekends of courtship in attempts to reconstruct an ancient catapult called an onager. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onager.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of onager

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for onager

Middle English, wild ass, from Latin, from Greek onagros, from onos ass + agros field — more at acre

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The first known use of onager was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near onager

on-again, off-again


on aggregate

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Cite this Entry

“Onager.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onager. Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on onager

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about onager


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