Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[gwah-noh] /ˈgwɑ noʊ/
a natural manure composed chiefly of the excrement of sea birds, found especially on islands near the Peruvian coast.
any similar substance, as an artificial fertilizer made from fish.
Origin of guano
1595-1605; < Spanish: fertilizer, dung; American Spanish huano dung < Quechua wanu dung for fuel, fertilizer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for guano
Historical Examples
  • He was the man who said my browns were all put in with guano.

  • "I thought you gentlemen were in the guano business," says I, when he had finished.

  • The evidence in favor of guano in this case, needs no comment.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • This is not only the most valuable, but is found in the largest quantities of any other guano known.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • It will not do to put the guano in the hill and plant the corn upon it.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • Crops of 30 and sometimes 40 bushels have been obtained to the acre with guano.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • We see by this, that the crop used the whole strength of the guano.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • All agreed however, that if wheat did grow, guano should have the credit for it.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • In this case the guano was plowed in about four inches deep.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • It has been frequently objected to the use of guano, that it is not permanent.

    Guano Solon Robinson
British Dictionary definitions for guano


noun (pl) -nos
  1. the dried excrement of fish-eating sea birds, deposited in rocky coastal regions of South America: contains the urates, oxalates, and phosphates of ammonium and calcium; used as a fertilizer
  2. the accumulated droppings of bats and seals
any similar but artificial substance used as a fertilizer
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish, from Quechuan huano dung
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for guano

c.1600, from Spanish guano "dung," especially of sea-birds on islands off Peru, from Quechua huanu "dung."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
guano in Science
  1. A substance composed chiefly of the dung of sea birds or bats, accumulated along certain coastal areas or in caves and used as fertilizer.

  2. Any of various similar substances, such as a fertilizer prepared from ground fish parts.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for guano

Word Value for guano

Scrabble Words With Friends