1A hoofed mammal of the horse family with a braying call, typically smaller than a horse and with longer ears.
- Genus Equus, family Equidae: E. africanus of Africa, which is the ancestor of the domestic ass or donkey, and E. hemionus of Asia
- This family, made up of the horses, asses and zebras, contains one genus with nine species.
- Similarly, one ‘kind’ was likely ancestral to the various types of horses, zebras and asses.
- Today only seven species of wild equids remain - three asses, three zebra and one wild horse - and IUCN-The World Conservation Union now lists most of these as endangered.
1.1(In general use) a donkey.
- Need I remind you gentlemen, that an ass is a donkey.
- Then be called ten times a donkey, and a mule, and an ass, and begone, or I'll clear the world of thee!
- But did Avraham sell Sara to an imperial Pharaoh in exchange for sheep, cattle, donkeys, servants, maids, asses, and camels?!
2 informal A foolish or stupid person: that ass of a young man
More example sentences
- The silly ass asked the electors: ‘Who governs Britain?’
- They are seen for the foolish bunch of asses that they are.
- The fact might well be forgotten, but there are stupid asses who will not let us forget it.
informal dimwit, halfwit, dummy, dum-dum, loon, jackass, cretin, jerk, fathead, blockhead, jughead, boob, bozo, buffoon, numbskull, numbnuts, lummox, knuckle-dragger, dunce, moron, meatball, doofus, ninny, nincompoop, dipstick, lamebrain, chump, peabrain, mouth-breather, hoser, thickhead, dumb-ass, wooden-head, pinhead, airhead, butthead, birdbrain, scissorbill, nitwit, twit, turkey, goofball, putz
vulgar slang asshat
make an ass of oneself
- informal Behave in a way that makes one look foolish or stupid: he is stewed and about to make an ass of himselfMore example sentences
- Somewhere behind it all, however, lies the splendid and irrepressible urge to get up in public and risk making an ass of yourself for the sake of art.
- We are not all mad violent alcoholics or binge drinkers whose only form of entertainment consists of trying to enter pubs in the hope of getting very drunk and making an ass of ourselves!
- I'm pretty sure Jessica holds her liquor better than I hold mine, because I distinctly remember making an ass of myself twice in her presence, and her not even one time at all.
nounNorth American vulgar slang
get your ass in (or into) gear
kick (some) ass (or kick someone's ass)
- see kick1.
- see kiss.
not give (or care) a rat's ass
- Not care at all about something.
not know one's ass from a hole in the ground (or from one's elbow)
a pain in the ass
- see pain.
a piece of ass
- see piece.
put (or have) someone's ass in a sling