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[mey-koh, mah-]
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noun, plural ma·kos.
  1. a powerful mackerel shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
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Origin of mako

Borrowed into English from Maori around 1720–30
Also called mako shark.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mako


noun plural -kos
  1. any shark of the genus Isurus, esp I. glaucus of Indo-Pacific and Australian seas: family Isuridae
  2. NZ the teeth of the mako worn as a decoration by early Māoris
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Word Origin

from Māori


mako-mako (ˈmɑːkəʊˌmɑːkəʊ)

noun plural -kos
  1. Also called: wineberry a small evergreen New Zealand tree, Aristotelia serrata: family Elaeocarpaceae
  2. NZ another name for bellbird (def. 2)
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Word Origin

from Māori
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 mako


"large blue shark," listed as 1727 in OED, from "The History of Japan," English translation of Engelbert Kaempfer's German manuscript; however this is claimed by some to be an error, and some say Kaempfer's word represents Japanese makkô(-kujira) "sperm whale." But the description in the text fits neither the shark nor the whale. The word is ultimately from Maori mako "shark, shark's tooth," which is of uncertain etymology. If the 1727 citation is an error, the next OED entry is for 1820, from a book on New Zealand languages.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper