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alpaca

[al-pak-uh]
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noun
  1. a domesticated South American ruminant, Lama pacos, having long, soft, silky fleece, related to the llama and believed to be a variety of the guanaco.
  2. the fleece of this animal.
  3. a fabric or yarn made of it.
  4. a glossy, commonly black woolen fabric with cotton warp.
  5. a crepe fabric made of rayon and acetate yarn in imitation of alpaca wool cloth.

Origin of alpaca

1805–15; < Spanish < Aymara allpaqa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for alpaca

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • A drab sack-coat of alpaca hung, unbuttoned, down to his knees.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • Mohair and alpaca noils are obtained by the combing of these materials.

    Textiles

    William H. Dooley

  • Alpaca Wool is the fleece of the Peruvian sheep, which is a species of llama.

    Textiles

    William H. Dooley

  • Alpaca, Vicuna and Llama wools are from different species of American goats.

    Vegetable Dyes

    Ethel M. Mairet

  • The alpaca is smaller than the llama, and somewhat resembles the sheep.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston


British Dictionary definitions for alpaca

alpaca1

noun
  1. a domesticated cud-chewing artiodactyl mammal, Lama pacos, closely related to the llama and native to South America: family Camelidae. Its dark shaggy hair is a source of wool
  2. the cloth made from the wool of this animal
  3. a glossy fabric simulating this, used for linings, etc

Word Origin

C18: via Spanish from Aymara allpaca

alpaca2

sometimes alpacca

noun
  1. a type of nickel silver used in jewellery

Word Origin

of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for alpaca

n.

1792, from Spanish alpaca, probably from Aymara allpaca, related to Quechua p'ake "yellowish-red." The al- is perhaps from influence of Arabic definite article (see almond). Attested in English from 1753 in the form pacos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper