[ ahrd-vahrk ]
/ ˈɑrdˌvɑrk /


a large, nocturnal, burrowing mammal, Orycteropus afer, of central and southern Africa, feeding on ants and termites and having a long, extensile tongue, strong claws, and long ears.

Nearby words

  1. aalto, alvar,
  2. aam,
  3. aap,
  4. aar,
  5. aarau,
  6. aardwolf,
  7. aargau,
  8. aarhus,
  9. aarnet,
  10. aaron

Origin of aardvark

1825–35; < Afrikaans erdvark < Dutch aardvarken, equivalent to aarde earth + varken pig; see farrow1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aardvark

British Dictionary definitions for aardvark


/ (ˈɑːdˌvɑːk) /


a nocturnal mammal, Orycteropus afer, the sole member of its family (Orycteropodidae) and order (Tubulidentata). It inhabits the grasslands of Africa, has long ears and snout, and feeds on termitesAlso called: ant bear

Word Origin for aardvark

C19: from obsolete Afrikaans, from aarde earth + varken pig

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 aardvark



1833, from Afrikaans Dutch aardvark, literally "earth-pig" (the animal burrows), from aard "earth" (see earth) + vark "pig," cognate with Old High German farah (source of German Ferkel "young pig, sucking pig," a diminutive form), Old English fearh (see farrow).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper