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jackal

[jak-uh l, -awl] /ˈdʒæk əl, -ɔl/
noun
1.
any of several nocturnal wild dogs of the genus Canis, especially C. aureus, of Asia and Africa, that scavenge or hunt in packs.
2.
a person who performs dishonest or base deeds as the follower or accomplice of another.
3.
a person who performs menial or degrading tasks for another.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; < alteration, by association with Jack, of Persian shag(h)āl; cognate with Sanskrit śṛgāla
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for jackal
  • And there were three other animals that were his comrades-a monkey, a jackal, and an otter.
  • The day of the jackal is arriving with the condors circling above.
  • Among the objects found among his bones was a small rectangular ceramic seal depicting a jackal and nine bound captives.
British Dictionary definitions for jackal

jackal

/ˈdʒækɔːl/
noun
1.
any of several African or S Asian canine mammals of the genus Canis, closely related to the dog, having long legs and pointed ears and muzzle: predators and carrion-eaters
2.
a person who does menial tasks for another
3.
a villain, esp a swindler
Word Origin
C17: from Turkish chakāl, from Persian shagāl, from Sanskrit srgāla
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 jackal
n.

c.1600, from Turkish çakal, from Persian shaghal, from or cognate with Sanskrit srgala-s, literally "the howler." Figurative sense of "skulking henchman" is from the old belief that jackals stirred up game for lions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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