pan·​da | \ ˈpan-də How to pronounce panda (audio) \

Definition of panda

1 : red panda
2 : a large black-and-white mammal (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) of chiefly central China that feeds primarily on bamboo shoots and is now usually classified with the bears (family Ursidae)

called also giant panda

Illustration of panda

Illustration of panda

A red panda, B panda 2

Examples of panda in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Over the next few weeks, keepers expect for the little panda to start opening their eyes. Kelli Bender,, "National Zoo's Panda Cub Gets First Exam: 'Our Young Panda Appears to Be Healthy and Vibrant'," 15 Sep. 2020 But irrefutable evidence was provided through the all-seeing witness of the zoo’s panda cam. Washington Post, "He does it: National Zoo’s panda cub takes first steps," 5 Dec. 2020 Mei Xiang, his mom, despite years of panda parenting, seemed unnerved. Washington Post, "Zoo’s panda cub startles mom with his bark, zoo says," 20 Dec. 2020 Fuwen Wei, a biologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, first watched a panda partake in this poopy practice in 2007, Jonathan Lambert reports for Science News. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Winter, Pandas Love to Roll in Horse Poop," 9 Dec. 2020 The female giant panda Mei Xiang (pronounced may-SHONG) and male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN), will return to China at the end of 2023 at the relatively elder panda ages of 25 and 26, respectively. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian Magazine, "Smithsonian’s Giant Pandas Will Continue to Cavort for Three More Years," 7 Dec. 2020 Mei Xiang, 22, and Tian Tian, 23, are both well into panda middle age. Ashraf Khalil, Star Tribune, "National Zoo extends panda deal with China through 2023," 7 Dec. 2020 That’s the translation of Xiao Qi Ji, the name for the newest panda at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Frans Lanting, National Geographic, "Dinosaurs for dinner?," 25 Nov. 2020 Giant panda moms expect their cubs to separate from them permanently around one and a half to two years old, and live a solitary life. Amy Eskind,, "National Zoo's Growing Panda Cub Is a 'Very Relaxed Kind of Dude' with a 'Bit of an Attitude'," 6 Nov. 2020

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

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for panda

French, perhaps from a language of the southeast Himalayas

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Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Panda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for panda



English Language Learners Definition of panda

: a large animal with black-and-white fur that looks like a bear, lives in China, and eats mostly bamboo shoots


pan·​da | \ ˈpan-də How to pronounce panda (audio) \

Kids Definition of panda

1 : red panda
2 : a large black-and-white animal of central and western China that feeds mostly on the leaves and stems of the bamboo and is related to the bear

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More from Merriam-Webster on panda

Nglish: Translation of panda for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of panda for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about panda

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