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[kahy-oh-tee, kahy-oht] /kaɪˈoʊ ti, ˈkaɪ oʊt/
noun, plural coyotes (especially collectively) coyote.
Also called prairie wolf. a buffy-gray, wolflike canid, Canis latrans, of North America, distinguished from the wolf by its relatively small size and its slender build, large ears, and narrow muzzle.
Slang. a contemptible person, especially an avaricious or dishonest one.
American Indian Legend. the coyote regarded as a culture hero and trickster by American Indian tribes of the West.
Slang. a person who smuggles Mexican nationals across the border into the U.S. for a fee.
1825-35; earlier cuiota, cayota < Mexican Spanish coyote < Nahuatl coyōtl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coyotes
  • Conifers droop with snow, and coyotes step out boldly.
  • Bigger than coyotes but smaller than wolves, their howl is high-pitched and their diet includes deer and small rodents.
  • Others include chinchilla, lynx, muskrats and coyotes.
  • They fear that the site will attract coyotes, flies, and vultures.
  • Some flamingos were saved by employees who beat away the coyotes.
  • We had steaks over a big roaring fire, with potato salad, while listening to coyotes howling somewhere down below.
  • He notes that some coyotes are members of their communities in good standing, esteemed for having helped friends and neighbours.
  • They were not so much the dogs of war as the coyotes, dingoes and hyenas.
  • coyotes are the main problem, but attacks by grizzly bear and wolves-both federally protected-are increasing.
  • For instance, when he sees coyotes lurking in the back pasture, he shoots them.
British Dictionary definitions for coyotes


/ˈkɔɪəʊt; kɔɪˈəʊt; kɔɪˈəʊtɪ/
noun (pl) -otes, -ote
Also called prairie wolf. a predatory canine mammal, Canis latrans, related to but smaller than the wolf, roaming the deserts and prairies of North America
(in Native American legends of the West) a trickster and culture hero represented as a man or as an animal
Word Origin
C19: from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl coyotl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coyotes



1759, American English, from Mexican Spanish coyote, from Nahuatl coyotl.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for coyotes



A person who smuggles illegal immigrants across the Mexican-US border: the ''coyotes,'' the smugglers who bribe or otherwise contrive to get their charges past border authorities (1920s+) coyote ugly

adjective phrase

Extremely ugly or nasty; piss-ugly, ugly as catshit: I had a coyote ugly date (1980s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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