Definition of donkey in English:


Line breaks: don¦key
Pronunciation: /ˈdɒŋki

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.
    • Equus asinus, family Equidae, descended from the wild ass of Africa
    More 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.
    ass; jackass, jenny; mule, hinny; Spanish burro
    British informal moke, neddy
    Scottish dated cuddy
  • 2 informal A stupid or inept person.
    More example sentences
    • We've called him and his ilk everything from thickheaded bozos, to donkeys and pious do-gooders.
    • I had seven names in all: imbecile, donkey, flax-head, dope, glump, ninny, and fool.
  • 3 informal An engine.
  • 4 (also donkey stool) A low stool on which an artist sits astride, especially in an art school.
  • 5 [mass noun] A children’s card game involving exchanging cards.


donkey's years

British 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.


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

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