• synonyms


[ fen-ek ]
/ ˈfɛn ɛk /


a small, pale yellowish-brown fox, Fennecus zerda, of northern Africa, having large, pointed ears.

Nearby words

fengtien, fenian, fenian cycle, fenland, fenman, fennec, fennel, fennelflower, fenny, fenoprofen, fenrir

Origin of fennec

1780–90; < Arabic fanak < Persian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fennec

  • The fennec spends the heat of the day comfortably curled up in its burrow, with its nose tucked away under its big bushy tail.

    The Animal World, A Book of Natural History|Theodore Wood
  • The fennec is a creature of the desert, and lives in burrows which it scoops out in the sand.

  • And yet, correctly speaking, it was not a fox neither, but a fennec.

    The Young Yagers|Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for fennec


/ (ˈfɛnɛk) /


a very small nocturnal fox, Fennecus zerda, inhabiting deserts of N Africa and Arabia, having pale fur and enormous ears

Word Origin for fennec

C18: from Arabic fenek fox
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 fennec



fox-like animal of Africa, 1790, from Arabic fenek, fanak "a name vaguely applied to various fur-bearing animals" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper