[jak-uhl, -awl]
any of several nocturnal wild dogs of the genus Canis, especially C. aureus, of Asia and Africa, that scavenge or hunt in packs.
a person who performs dishonest or base deeds as the follower or accomplice of another.
a person who performs menial or degrading tasks for another.

1595–1605; < alteration, by association with Jack, of Persian shag(h)āl; cognate with Sanskrit śṛgāla

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To jackal
World English Dictionary
jackal (ˈdʒækɔːl)
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
[C17: from Turkish chakāl, from Persian shagāl, from Sanskrit srgāla]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1600, from Turk. çakal, from Pers. shaghal, from Skt. srgala-s, lit. "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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature