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donkey

Syllabification: don·key
Pronunciation: /ˈdôNGkē
 
, ˈdäNGkē
 
/

Definition of donkey in English:

noun (plural donkeys)

1A domesticated hoofed mammal of the horse family with long ears and a braying call, used as a beast of burden; an ass.
Example sentences
  • Horses and donkeys produce mules, for example.
  • Hybrids such as the mule, a cross between a donkey and a horse, are sterile.
  • The strange script included drawings of camels, horses, donkeys and ibex.
Synonyms
2 informal A stupid or foolish person.
Example sentences
  • I hate it when my words come out like I am a stupid donkey.

Origin

late 18th century (originally pronounced to rhyme with monkey): perhaps from dun1, or from the given name Duncan.

More
  • Before the late 18th century a donkey was an ass. At first the word donkey was used only in slang and dialect, and its origin is lost. Early references indicate that it rhymed with monkey, and this has prompted some to suggest that it comes from the colour dun (Old English) or from the man's name Duncan. The expression for donkey's years, ‘for a very long time’, is a pun referring to the length of a donkey's ears and playing on an old pronunciation of ears which was the same as that of years. The British expression yonks, with the same meaning, may derive from it. See also easel

Phrases

donkey's years

1
informal A very long time: we’ve been close friends for donkey’s years
More example sentences
  • The feeling in the village is really angry, people are very upset because of the amount of people who have played down there, going back donkey's years.
  • I have lived round here for donkey's years and this seemed to be the worst managed match.
  • It is the best lead toys collection we've seen in donkey's years and we are expecting that it will attract national collector interest.

Words that rhyme with donkey

conchae, honky, shonky, wonky

Definition of donkey in:

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