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[doo-gong, -gawng] /ˈdu gɒŋ, -gɔŋ/
an herbivorous, aquatic mammal, Dugong dugon, of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, having a barrel-shaped body, flipperlike forelimbs, no hind limbs, and a triangular tail: widespread but rare.
Origin of dugong
1790-1800; < New Latin < German: first recorded as dugung, apparently misrepresentation of Malay duyung, or a cognate Austronesian word Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dugong
Historical Examples
  • Paddy gave a shout of delight when he heard that he was appointed to the dugong.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • He knew they were amphibious, and that, where the dugong was found, land could not be a long way off.

    The Castaways Captain Mayne Reid
  • Was it he who threw Top out of the lake, and killed the dugong?

    The Secret of the Island W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)
  • It seemed a wonder that the dugong could stand so much battering.

    In the Eastern Seas W.H.G. Kingston
  • “A dugong,” said Briscoe, cocking and raising his double rifle.

    Old Gold George Manville Fenn
  • The dugong is a sea mammal found on the north coast of Australia.

  • The Australian dugong is said to attain a length of fourteen feet.

  • Crawling or sitting, that rare collossus, the dugong, displays its chests and breasts.

    The Sea Jules Michelet
  • Why do some animals, like the dugong, have tusks that never cut through the gums?

  • The oil obtained from the dugong is, or rather was, very valuable.

British Dictionary definitions for dugong


a whalelike sirenian mammal, Dugong dugon, occurring in shallow tropical waters from E Africa to Australia: family Dugongidae
Word Origin
C19: from Malay duyong
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
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Word Origin and History for dugong

1800, from Malay duyung, which is dugung in the Philippines.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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