un·​gu·​late | \ˈəŋ-gyə-lət, ˈən-, -ˌlāt\

Definition of ungulate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having hooves ungulate mammals

2 : of, relating to, or affecting ungulates ungulate diseases



Definition of ungulate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hoofed typically herbivorous quadruped mammal (such as a pig, cow, deer, horse, elephant, or rhinoceros) of a group formerly considered a major mammalian taxon (Ungulata) — see artiodactyl, perissodactyl

Examples of ungulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This has caused many problems for Goody because animals such as cows, horses and giraffes put about 70 percent of their weight on their front legs, said Melissa McCartney, lead ungulate zookeeper. Carolyn Wilke, sacbee, "A 14-foot-tall arthritis patient receives treatment at the Sacramento Zoo," 18 Aug. 2017 An artist's rendering shows the South American native ungulate Macrauchenia patachonica which had a number of remarkable adaptations, including the positioning of its nostrils high on its head in this illustration released on March 17, 2015. Josh Rosenblatt, Fox News, "Animal that flummoxed Darwin finds its genetic home," 28 June 2017 Animal Adventure Park took the world by storm with its 24-hour feed of April and her ungulate family. Kim Komando, Fox News, "Tech Q&A: Track the solar eclipse," 7 May 2017 Male horns may also attract females looking for the strongest mate, though in most ungulate species, females also have horns, says Patrick Bergin, chief executive officer of the African Wildlife Foundation. National Geographic, "Bizarre Horns of the Animal Kingdom," 6 Aug. 2016 That was surprising, because the ungulate-rich region should have been great territory for the graceful and speedy cats. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Poaching Isn’t the Cheetah’s Only Problem," 6 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The white-spotted ungulates, imported in the 19th century by King Kamehameha V, have no natural predators in Hawaii and number more than 10,000 on Lanai alone, ravaging crops and pastureland. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 23 May 2018 Thus babies in plays are rarer than odd-toed ungulates. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Attention new parents: 'Cry It Out' at Northlight is worth the price of a sitter," 20 May 2018 Before the pronghorn's numbers dwindled, surveyors charting the U.S.-Mexico border in the late 1800s saw the agile ungulates in every valley from Nogales, Sonora, to Yuma. Alex Devoid, azcentral, "Back from the brink, the Sonoran pronghorn now roam an increasingly political landscape," 27 Mar. 2018 Beware, ungulates of Labrador: Your black bears have a taste for caribou. Josh Dean, Esquire, "America's 10 Toughest Animals," 2 June 2015 Still, these are hulking ungulates, the largest land animals on the continent, standing up to six-feet-high at the shoulder and weighing upwards of 1.5 tons. Josh Dean, Esquire, "America's 10 Toughest Animals," 2 June 2015 According to the study, ungulates often chew on bones to get minerals like phosphorus, calcium and sodium into their diet. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Deer Caught Gnawing on Human Bones," 8 May 2017 At the time, ungulates had swarmed in Serengeti-like numbers. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Giant ‘Arrows’ Seen From Space Point to a Vanished World," 11 Aug. 2016 The state’s northern reaches appear to be home to a small but growing number of the gangly ungulates, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Benjamin Spillman, USA TODAY, "Nevada has moose (meese?) now and they’re dangerous," 8 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ungulate.' 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 ungulate


1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1842, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ungulate


Late Latin ungulatus, from Latin ungula hoof, from unguis nail, hoof


New Latin Ungulata, from Late Latin, neuter plural of ungulatus

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The first known use of ungulate was in 1839

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More Definitions for ungulate


un·​gu·​late | \ˈəŋ-gyə-lət \

Kids Definition of ungulate

: a usually plant-eating animal (as a cow, horse, or sheep) with hooves


un·​gu·​late | \ˈəŋ-gyə-lət, ˈən-, -ˌlāt\

Medical Definition of ungulate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having hooves

2 : of or relating to the ungulates



Medical Definition of ungulate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hoofed typically herbivorous quadruped mammal (as a pig, camel, hippopotamus, horse, tapir, rhinoceros, or elephant) of a polyphyletic group formerly considered a major mammalian taxon (Ungulata)

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obstinately defiant of authority

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