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
Recent Examples of panda from the Web
Zoos around the world have had enormous difficulty in getting captive elephants to reproduce—and don’t even get zookeepers started on pandas.
The red panda was created with a coyote tail and the dyed hides of fishers (a kind of weasel).
Giant female pandas are typically pregnant for three to six months.
A baby red panda was born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC on June 16.
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.
Origin and Etymology of panda
French, perhaps from a language of the southeast Himalayas
First Known Use: 1834See Words from the same year
PANDA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of panda for English Language Learners
: a large animal with black-and-white fur that looks like a bear, lives in China, and eats mostly bamboo shoots
PANDA Defined for Kids
History for panda
A picture of a panda—the red panda rather than the panda of China—as well as the word panda itself first appeared in Europe in 1825. The French naturalist who published the picture, Frédéric Cuvier, did not tell us where he found the word, but it is assumed to be from a language of Nepal. When the panda of China first became known, it was thought to be a kind of bear. In 1901 scientists decided it was most closely related to the red panda and hence named it “giant panda.” Though the kinship between the two animals is now known to be much more distant, the name panda is still firmly attached to both animals.
Seen and Heard
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