pan·da | \ˈpan-də \

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

Her first attempt at analyzing the new panda fossil was also unsuccessful. National Geographic, "Long-Lost Panda Relative Revealed by 22,000-Year-Old Fossil," 18 June 2018 Refusing to get stuck pulling his pal out the wooden stairs, the other panda bolts. Alexis Hobbs, Woman's Day, "WATCH: Panda Cub Fails at Climbing Ladder While Still Being Completely Adorable," 23 Sep. 2015 All panda cubs born in D.C. return to China -- which owns and leases the animals in U.S. zoos -- by their fourth birthday. Rebecca Bratek, CBS News, "National Zoo's giant panda experiencing "pseudopregnancy," zoo says," 5 July 2018 But hope certainly isn’t lost: pandas older than Mei Xiang have successfully given birth. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Giant Panda Mei Xiang Will Not Give Birth," 5 July 2018 But pandas fell on hard times in recent decades, thanks largely to human encroachment. Amina Khan,, "Preserving more habitat for China's giant pandas is having a giant payoff, study says," 28 June 2018 The long-term survey shows that pandas are traveling out of the reserves and into regions of high human disturbance. Cliff Kapono,, "San Diego Zoo studies return of the giant panda," 6 July 2018 No pandas live there today, the researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences wrote in a paper published today (June 18) in the journal Current Biology. Rafi Letzter, Fox News, "The oldest DNA from giant pandas was just discovered in a cave in China," 19 June 2018 But from a glance, the fossil looked similar to modern pandas. National Geographic, "Long-Lost Panda Relative Revealed by 22,000-Year-Old Fossil," 18 June 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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Statistics for panda

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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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 \

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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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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