- 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.
- Slang. a contemptible person, especially an avaricious or dishonest one.
- American Indian Legend. the coyote regarded as a culture hero and trickster by American Indian tribes of the West.
- Slang. a person who smuggles immigrants, especially Latin Americans, into the U.S. for a fee.
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
He hoped it made him look like a coyote hunter, out for bounties.The Ballad of Johnny France
Richard Ben Cramer
January 12, 2014
Every once in awhile somebody spotted a coyote scurrying past along the side of the road, and the whole bus leaped in its seat.At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a Steady Drip of Toxic Trouble
February 24, 2013
As for the puppy being in danger, you have to wonder how big it was compared to the coyote.Ranger Rick and the Coyote
Carol Flake Chapman
September 10, 2011
Perry, who carries a Ruger .380 handgun in his belt when he jogs, pulled the weapon and shot the coyote dead.
The governor and the dog were out for an early morning jog when a coyote suddenly appeared, growling at Rory.
Must have been a coyote in here that sneaked off with your trousers, unless you have 'em on.Way of the Lawless
"It was of that first treading that the Skin talked," agreed the Coyote.
Why should a coyote, who is the least of all wolves, hunt for himself when he can find a man to follow?
But the coyote took him by the neck of his deerskin shirt and dragged him a little.
Like a coyote he would call at night, and though the Turk heard him, he dared not answer.
- 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
- (in Native American legends of the West) a trickster and culture hero represented as a man or as an animal
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
1759, American English, from Mexican Spanish coyote, from Nahuatl coyotl.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper