Definition of bunyip in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʌnjɪp/


1A mythical amphibious monster said to inhabit inland waterways.
Example sentences
  • However, most Australians now consider the existence of the bunyip to be mythical.
  • What's more, he is a 53-year-old man who lives outside the city, throws three-day parties and whose ex-partner has written a book about bunyips.
  • There was a rumble below and all the creatures began to flee yelling ‘Quick, here comes the bunyip!’.
2 [usually as modifier] An impostor or pretender: Australia’s bunyip aristocracy
More example sentences
  • A Labor Prime Minister ‘born to be a king’ is destined to produce a ‘powerful Governor-General’, ‘a bunyip aristocracy’.
  • In the early 1850s, when Wentworth chaired the committee appointed to draft a new constitution for NSW, his unsuccessful plea for an upper house based on a hereditary colonial peerage was mocked as a bunyip aristocracy.
  • Since the days of Macarthur there has been a bunyip aristocracy in Australia that has been offended by the idea of having to pay to acquire labour.


Mid 19th century: from Wemba-wemba banib.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bun¦yip

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