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

Wild panda population is on the rise, thanks to Chinese conservationists. Bukky Babalola And Zach Wade, CNN, "Quickly catch up on the day's news," 11 June 2018 The family-friendly ride, which is available to the public June 15, seats guests in the middle of the action with Po (the animated panda version of Jack Black) and his Kung Fu family. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Universal's new "Kung Fu Panda" ride doesn't exactly ooze awesomeness," 15 June 2018 The assumption was that Chengdu, which is best known for pandas and spicy food, would be recognizable to foreign readers and give the drama a more visceral feel, Rob Bloom, Mr. Zhou’s editor at Doubleday, said in an email. New York Times, "How to Catch a Killer in China: Another Chinese Crime Novel Goes Global," 4 June 2018 The panda was first spotted wandering among houses in Wenchuan county on Thursday, seemingly in search of food. Fox News, "Panda takes excursion into town in southwestern China," 1 June 2018 Yet the sensation of being casually stared at, sized-up, and generally found wanting by every passerby with the inclination to do so left me feeling slightly like a panda in a zoo with no bamboo shoots to hide behind. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 Over a thousand square kilometers of panda habitat in the Sichuan Province was surveyed. Cliff Kapono,, "San Diego Zoo studies return of the giant panda," 6 July 2018 Meanwhile, for the wool itself, the results were mixed: One sheep was white, two were mostly black, and the other three had spotted fleeces akin to a panda. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Big Tongues and Extra Vertebrae: The Unintended Consequences of Animal Gene Editing," 14 Dec. 2018 Using only a silver polymer a thousandth of a millimeter thick and the earth's magnetic fields, researchers were able to control a virtual panda on a screen in a demonstration. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Electronic Skin Can Give Humans Directional Superpowers," 16 Nov. 2018

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

14 Apr 2019

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The first known use of panda was in 1834

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with panda

Spanish Central: Translation of panda

Nglish: Translation of panda for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on panda

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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