[ on-uh-jer ]

noun,plural on·a·gers, on·a·gri [on-uh-grahy]. /ˈɒn əˌgraɪ/.
  1. Also called A·si·at·ic wild ass . a near threatened wild ass, Equus hemionus, inhabiting southwestern Asia and formerly distributed also through the Middle East and eastern Asia: the onager is one of the fastest mammals, able to run, and sometimes exceed, 40 miles (64 km) per hour, and, unlike most donkeys and horses, it has never been domesticated.

  2. an ancient and medieval military catapult for throwing stones.

Origin of onager

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Latin onager, onagrus “wild ass,” Late Latin also “catapult, siege machine for throwing projectiles,” from Greek ónagros “wild ass,” Late Greek also “catapult, siege engine,” alteration of ónos ágrios “ass of the fields, wild ass”; see acre

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British Dictionary definitions for onager


/ (ˈɒnədʒə) /

nounplural -gri (-ˌɡraɪ) or -gers
  1. a Persian variety of the wild ass, Equus hemionus: Compare kiang

  2. an ancient war engine for hurling stones

Origin of onager

C14: from Late Latin: military engine for stone throwing, from Latin: wild ass, from Greek onagros, from onos ass + agros field

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