: any of a genus (Lama) of wild or domesticated, long-necked, South American ruminant (see ruminant entry 1) mammals related to the camels but smaller and without a hump
especially : a domesticated llama (L. glama) descended from the guanaco and used especially in the Andes as a pack animal and a source of wool

Illustration of llama

Illustration of llama

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In addition, there’s also a fun llama painting hanging on the wall from artist Avi Ram that starred in Netflix’s Skin Wars. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 20 Jan. 2023 The llama and its relative the alpaca have previous work experience protecting lambs and sheep from predators. Smriti Rao, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2010 Almost 600 years ago, the Inca Road System was a feat of engineering, where locals used to trek the 25,000 miles of road by foot or by llama. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 3 Jan. 2022 Since leaving the racing scene, Doom has made a name for himself by piecing together creative multi-day routes around the world that require mountain bikes, pack rafts, and the occasional llama. The Editors, Outside Online, 8 Sep. 2020 The adventurous llama caused some drama after escaping her enclosure in Fairfax County, Virginia. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 22 Dec. 2022 On Tuesday, the shelter was able to reach Kolby’s owner, and the llama was returned home. Olivia Mccormack, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2022 Other art found in the cave shows hunter gatherer communities in pursuit of prey, most commonly guanaco, a type of llama found in the area. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2022 But the latest theft — including seven raccoons, two female wolves, peacocks, a llama and a donkey from Kherson Zoo — entered the realm of farce. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Spanish, from Quechua

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of llama was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near llama

Cite this Entry

“Llama.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/llama. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


lla·​ma ˈläm-ə How to pronounce llama (audio)
: any of several wild and domesticated long-necked South American hoofed mammals that chew the cud and are related to the camels but smaller and without a hump

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