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[on-uh-jer] /ˈɒn ə dʒər/
noun, plural onagri
[on-uh-grahy] /ˈɒn əˌgraɪ/ (Show IPA),
a wild ass, Equus hemionus, of southwestern Asia.
an ancient and medieval military catapult for throwing stones.
Origin of onager
1300-50; Middle English < Late Latin: machine for throwing projectiles, Latin onager, onagrus wild ass < Greek ónagros (in both senses), alteration of ónos ágrios ass of the fields, wild ass (see acre) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for onagri
Historical Examples
  • The onagri hurled stones of sixty pounds weight to a maximum distance of two hundred and fifty paces.

    Annals of a Fortress E. Viollet-le-Duc
  • The square towers were not covered by roofs but by platforms, so as to allow catapults or onagri to be placed upon them.

    Annals of a Fortress E. Viollet-le-Duc
  • Two onagri sometimes hurled stones at the workmen; but they, well shielded and always in motion, were seldom struck.

    Annals of a Fortress E. Viollet-le-Duc
British Dictionary definitions for onagri


noun (pl) -gri (-ˌɡraɪ), -gers
a Persian variety of the wild ass, Equus hemionus Compare kiang
an ancient war engine for hurling stones
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin: military engine for stone throwing, from Latin: wild ass, from Greek onagros, from onos ass + agros field
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 onagri



Asiatic wild ass, mid-14c., from Latin onager, from Greek onagros, from onos "ass" (related to Latin asinus, but the ultimate source is unknown) + agrios "wild," literally "living in the fields," from agros "field" (see acre).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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