panda

play
noun pan·da \ˈpan-də\

Definition of panda

  1. 1 :  red panda

  2. 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

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.

Illustration of panda

Origin and Etymology of panda

French, perhaps from a language of the southeast Himalayas


PANDA Defined for English Language Learners

panda

play
noun

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

panda

play
noun pan·da \ˈpan-də\

Definition of panda for Students

  1. 1 :  red panda

  2. 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

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.



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