pec·​ca·​ry | \ ˈpe-kə-rē How to pronounce peccary (audio) \
plural peccaries

Definition of peccary

: any of several largely nocturnal gregarious American mammals resembling the related pigs: such as
a : a grizzled animal (Tayassu tajacu) with an indistinct white collar
b : a blackish animal (Tayassu pecari) with a whitish mouth region

Illustration of peccary

Illustration of peccary

Examples of peccary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hogs are considered an invasive species, much larger than their south Texas cousin the peccary, or javelina. Los Angeles Times, "Texas tackles wild hogs with high-stakes hunts," 27 Nov. 2020 Giant plants that reduced us to the size of Lilliputians lined the path as our hike led us to a clearing where agoutis, flying wild turkeys and peccaries dazzled us with their acrobatics. Dallas News, "Costa Rican ecolodge is a sanctuary that reminds us why we travel in the first place," 20 Apr. 2020 Feral hogs, whose rooting in soil increases tree growth and attracts bird flocks, are replacing ecological work done by extinct giant peccaries in North America. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions," 26 Mar. 2020 There are three species of peccaries in the Americas. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "White-Lipped Peccary Species May Be in Steep Decline," 19 Feb. 2020 The virus infects pigs, warthogs, European wild boar, American wild pigs, bush pigs, giant forest hogs and peccaries. Washington Post, "The Deadly African Virus That’s Killing Asia’s Pigs," 29 Sep. 2019 A half-dozen javelinas, a kind of peccary, scampered in the thick undergrowth. David Kelly, Los Angeles Times, "Heading south in Steinbeck’s footsteps, with a Prius and a plan," 5 Oct. 2019 An animal caring for a sick, injured, or dead individual of its own kind is referred to as epimeletic behavior, and besides humans and great apes, it’s been documented in elephants, peccaries, and orcas, among other species. National Geographic, "Mother hippo may be grieving dead baby in new video," 19 June 2019 Board a boat at Atalaya and cruise even deeper into the rainforest, on the lookout for monkeys, giant anteaters, tapirs, ocelots, armadillos, peccaries, caimans, and the numerous bird species that inhabit Manú National Park. National Geographic, "Peru and the Amazon Expedition: Inca Wonders and Jungle Wildlife," 10 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peccary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of peccary

1697, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for peccary

of Cariban origin; akin to Suriname Carib paki:ra peccary

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about peccary

Time Traveler for peccary

Time Traveler

The first known use of peccary was in 1697

See more words from the same year

Statistics for peccary

Last Updated

4 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Peccary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for peccary


pec·​ca·​ry | \ ˈpe-kə-rē How to pronounce peccary (audio) \
plural peccaries

Kids Definition of peccary

: a mostly tropical American animal that gathers in herds, is active at night, and looks like but is smaller than the related pig

More from Merriam-Webster on peccary

Nglish: Translation of peccary for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about peccary

Comments on peccary

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!