pec·​ca·​ry ˈpe-kə-rē How to pronounce peccary (audio)
plural peccaries
: any of several largely nocturnal gregarious American mammals resembling the related pigs: such as
: a grizzled animal (Tayassu tajacu) with an indistinct white collar
: 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 Nearly four decades later, the Belize Zoo is the most popular attraction in Belize, drawing locals, foreign tourists and tens of thousands of school children each year, to see Pete the jaguar, Saddam the peccary and the rest of Ms. Matola’s menagerie of native animals. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2021 The exhibition includes pendants and ear ornaments of jade and jadeite, trumpets made from conch shells and ornate ceramic vessels decorated with howler monkeys, a turtle and a peccary, a relative of the pig. Peter Saenger, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2022 Benirschke almost single-handedly saved the giant peccary. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Oct. 2022 So does the white-lipped peccary, a shy pig that tends to disappear quickly when there’s hunting pressure. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2021 The hogs are considered an invasive species, much larger than their south Texas cousin the peccary, or javelina. Los Angeles Times, 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, 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, 26 Mar. 2020 There are three species of peccaries in the Americas. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, 19 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peccary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1697, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of peccary was in 1697

Dictionary Entries Near peccary

Cite this Entry

“Peccary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pec·​ca·​ry ˈpek-ə-rē How to pronounce peccary (audio)
plural peccaries
: either of two American mammals of warm regions that gather in herds, are active usually at night, and look like but are much smaller than the related pigs

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