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coyote

[kahy-oh-tee, kahy-oht]
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noun, plural coy·o·tes, (especially collectively) coy·o·te.
  1. Also called prairie wolf. a buffy-gray, wolflike canid, Canis latrans, of North America, distinguished from the wolf by its relatively small size and its slender build, large ears, and narrow muzzle.
  2. Slang. a contemptible person, especially an avaricious or dishonest one.
  3. American Indian Legend. the coyote regarded as a culture hero and trickster by American Indian tribes of the West.
  4. Slang. a person who smuggles immigrants, especially Latin Americans, into the U.S. for a fee.
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Origin of coyote

1825–35; earlier cuiota, cayota < Mexican Spanish coyote < Nahuatl coyōtl
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coyote

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Must have been a coyote in here that sneaked off with your trousers, unless you have 'em on.

  • But the coyote took him by the neck of his deerskin shirt and dragged him a little.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Why should a coyote, who is the least of all wolves, hunt for himself when he can find a man to follow?

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • "It was of that first treading that the Skin talked," agreed the Coyote.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Like a coyote he would call at night, and though the Turk heard him, he dared not answer.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin


British Dictionary definitions for coyote

coyote

noun plural -otes or -ote
  1. Also called: prairie wolf a predatory canine mammal, Canis latrans, related to but smaller than the wolf, roaming the deserts and prairies of North America
  2. (in Native American legends of the West) a trickster and culture hero represented as a man or as an animal
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Word Origin

C19: from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl coyotl
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 coyote

n.

1759, American English, from Mexican Spanish coyote, from Nahuatl coyotl.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper