[jag-wahr, -yoo-ahr; especially British jag-yoo-er]


a large spotted feline, Panthera onca, of tropical America, having a tawny coat with black rosettes: now greatly reduced in number and endangered in some areas.

Origin of jaguar

1595–1605; < Portuguese < Tupi jaguara Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jaguar

Contemporary Examples of jaguar

Historical Examples of jaguar

  • Once when a Mexican tigre, a jaguar, charged me I—But that is not this story.

  • The jaguar might make an excursion into the market-town; the bear might eat a butcher.

  • If I saw a jaguar track in India, I should know it was made by a leopard.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • And the hunting-leopard grew to a jaguar, all covered with spots like eyes.

  • The jaguar also frequents thickets on the river-banks and marshes.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin

British Dictionary definitions for jaguar



a large feline mammal, Panthera onca, of S North America, Central America, and N South America, similar to the leopard but with a shorter tail and larger spots on its coat

Word Origin for jaguar

C17: from Portuguese, from Tupi jaguara, Guarani yaguara
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 jaguar

big cat of the Americas (Felis onca), c.1600, from Portuguese jaguar, from Tupi jaguara, said to be a name "denoting any larger beast of prey" [Klein]. Also a type of British-made car; in this sense the abbreviation Jag is attested from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper