jackal

[ jak-uh l, -awl ]
/ ˈdʒæk əl, -ɔl /

noun

any of several nocturnal wild dogs of the genus Canis, especially C. aureus, of Asia and Africa, that scavenge or hunt in packs.
a person who performs dishonest or base deeds as the follower or accomplice of another.
a person who performs menial or degrading tasks for another.

Nearby words

  1. jack-tar,
  2. jack-the-lad,
  3. jack-the-rags,
  4. jack-up,
  5. jack-up rig,
  6. jackanapes,
  7. jackaroo,
  8. jackass,
  9. jackass bark,
  10. jackass brig

Origin of jackal

1595–1605; < alteration, by association with Jack, of Persian shag(h)āl; cognate with Sanskrit śṛgāla

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

Examples from the Web for jackal


British Dictionary definitions for jackal

jackal

/ (ˈdʒækɔːl) /

noun

any of several African or S Asian canine mammals of the genus Canis, closely related to the dog, having long legs and pointed ears and muzzle: predators and carrion-eaters
a person who does menial tasks for another
a villain, esp a swindler

Word Origin for jackal

C17: from Turkish chakāl, from Persian shagāl, from Sanskrit srgāla

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 jackal

jackal

n.

c.1600, from Turkish çakal, from Persian shaghal, from or cognate with Sanskrit srgala-s, literally "the howler." Figurative sense of "skulking henchman" is from the old belief that jackals stirred up game for lions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper