a domesticated South American ruminant, Lama pacos, having long, soft, silky fleece, related to the llama and believed to be a variety of the guanaco.
the fleece of this animal.
a fabric or yarn made of it.
a glossy, commonly black woolen fabric with cotton warp.
a crepe fabric made of rayon and acetate yarn in imitation of alpaca wool cloth.

Origin of alpaca

1805–15; < Spanish < Aymara allpaqa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alpaca

Contemporary Examples of alpaca

Historical Examples of alpaca

  • A drab sack-coat of alpaca hung, unbuttoned, down to his knees.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • Alpaca Wool is the fleece of the Peruvian sheep, which is a species of llama.


    William H. Dooley

  • Mohair and alpaca noils are obtained by the combing of these materials.


    William H. Dooley

  • Alpaca, Vicuna and Llama wools are from different species of American goats.

    Vegetable Dyes

    Ethel M. Mairet

  • The alpaca is smaller than the llama, and somewhat resembles the sheep.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for alpaca




a domesticated cud-chewing artiodactyl mammal, Lama pacos, closely related to the llama and native to South America: family Camelidae. Its dark shaggy hair is a source of wool
the cloth made from the wool of this animal
a glossy fabric simulating this, used for linings, etc

Word Origin for alpaca

C18: via Spanish from Aymara allpaca



sometimes alpacca


a type of nickel silver used in jewellery

Word Origin for alpaca

of uncertain origin
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 alpaca

1792, from Spanish alpaca, probably from Aymara allpaca, related to Quechua p'ake "yellowish-red." The al- is perhaps from influence of Arabic definite article (see almond). Attested in English from 1753 in the form pacos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper