[ doo-gong, -gawng ]

  1. 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.

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Origin of dugong

1790–1800; <New Latin <German: first recorded as dugung, apparently misrepresentation of Malay duyung, or a cognate Austronesian word

Words Nearby dugong

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How to use dugong in a sentence

  • Of marine mammals the dugong is peculiar to the Indian Ocean; in the Ganges is found a peculiar species of dolphin.

  • Again, the dugong and Manatee are dermally alike, yet extremely different as regards the structure and number of their teeth.

    On the Genesis of Species | St. George Mivart
  • The latter country possesses an organised dugong fishery, which bids fair to exterminate this harmless animal.

  • When the female dugong is nursing her offspring the position assumed is almost identical with that of a human mother.

    Myth-Land | F. Edward Hulme
  • In neither Manatee nor dugong is there any trace of an acetabulum but one can be made out in Halitherium.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton | Sidney H. Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for dugong


/ (ˈduːɡɒŋ) /

  1. a whalelike sirenian mammal, Dugong dugon, occurring in shallow tropical waters from E Africa to Australia: family Dugongidae

Origin of dugong

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