[muhng-gruhl, mong-]


a dog of mixed or indeterminate breed.
any animal or plant resulting from the crossing of different breeds or varieties.
any cross between different things, especially if inharmonious or indiscriminate.


of mixed breed, nature, or origin; of or like a mongrel.

Origin of mongrel

1425–75; late Middle English (once): heraldic term for a type of dog; equivalent to mong(e) mixture (Old English gemang; cf. mingle) + -rel
Related formsmon·grel·ism, mon·grel·ness, nounmon·grel·ly, adverb

Synonyms for mongrel

1. mutt. 2. cross, half-breed. See hybrid.

Antonyms for mongrel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mongrel

Contemporary Examples of mongrel

  • On the one hand, Wilfred is a pot-smoking, hard-drinking, Matt Damon-loving, mongrel dog.

  • The dog was a mongrel, maybe 35 pounds, and the kid was trying to balance it in front of him on the frame of his bicycle.

  • Miscegenation would follow and a mongrel race would be the result.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Up From History, Part 4

    David Frum

    February 4, 2013

  • Sam Bungey grew up in London, went to university in Dublin and co-founded Mongrel, a monthly magazine about Irish youth culture.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Waiting for Obama

    Sam Bungey

    March 22, 2010

Historical Examples of mongrel

British Dictionary definitions for mongrel



a plant or animal, esp a dog, of mixed or unknown breeding; a crossbreed or hybrid
taboo a person of mixed race
Australian and NZ sport toughness and physical aggressiona tall southpaw with plenty of mongrel


of mixed origin, breeding, character, etc
Derived Formsmongrelism, nounmongrelly, adjective

Word Origin for mongrel

C15: from obsolete mong mixture; compare Old English gemong a mingling
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 mongrel

late 15c., "mixed-breed dog," from obsolete mong "mixture," from Old English gemong "mingling" (base of among), from Proto-Germanic *mangjan "to knead together" (see mingle). With pejorative suffix -rel. Meaning "person not of pure race" is from 1540s. As an adjective from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper