Definition of coyote in English:


Line breaks: coy¦ote
Pronunciation: /ˈkɔɪəʊt
, kɔɪˈəʊti

noun (plural same or coyotes)

  • 1A wolf-like wild dog native to North America. Also called brush wolf or prairie wolf in North America.
    • Canis latrans, family Canidae
    More example sentences
    • There are 36 species of Canidae, including dogs, wolves, coyotes, jackals and foxes.
    • Other predators are red foxes, coyotes, wolves, bear, mountain lions, lynx, bobcats, eagles, and great horned owls.
    • Eagles, rattlesnakes, deer, pronghorn antelope, foxes, coyotes, and mountain lions roam the area.
  • 2North American informal A person who smuggles people from Latin America across the US border, typically for a very high fee.
    More example sentences
    • Over time I was also able to use non-American friends as coyotes to smuggle refills.
    • To get past the border guards, immigrants from Mexico hire smugglers - called coyotes - to guide them through crossing points.
    • His only choice was to travel to Tijuana and hire a coyote (immigrant smuggler) to take him across the border.


mid 18th century: from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl coyotl.

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a small amount; a little