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[muhng-gruh l, mong-] /ˈmʌŋ grəl, ˈmɒŋ-/
a dog of mixed or indeterminate breed.
any animal or plant resulting from the crossing of different breeds or varieties.
any cross between different things, especially if inharmonious or indiscriminate.
of mixed breed, nature, or origin; of or like a mongrel.
Origin of mongrel
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English (once): heraldic term for a type of dog; equivalent to mong(e) mixture (Old English gemang; cf. mingle) + -rel
Related forms
mongrelism, mongrelness, noun
mongrelly, adverb
1. mutt. 2. cross, half-breed. See hybrid.
2. thoroughbred, purebred. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mongrel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As he approached it, two or three mongrel curs ran out and barked vociferous defiance, but he did not heed them.

  • How can we feel like that when we're all brought up on mongrel food?

    The Freelands John Galsworthy
  • He looked closely at her, his long, mongrel eyes half-closing with covert scrutiny.

  • “Not a beauty,” Joshua had said, and decidedly a mongrel according to the landlord.

    Our Frank Amy Walton
  • They are based on mongrel races, steeped in ignorance, cramped by superstition, and physically rotten before they get ripe.

    The Arena Various
  • Of course there was a baby in the case—a baby and mongrel dog, and a little boy and girl.

    Dickory Dock L. T. Meade
British Dictionary definitions for mongrel


a plant or animal, esp a dog, of mixed or unknown breeding; a crossbreed or hybrid
(taboo) a person of mixed race
(Austral & NZ, sport) toughness and physical aggression: a tall southpaw with plenty of mongrel
of mixed origin, breeding, character, etc
Derived Forms
mongrelism, noun
mongrelly, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from obsolete mong mixture; compare Old English gemong a mingling
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 mongrel

late 15c., "mixed-breed dog," from obsolete mong "mixture," from Old English gemong "mingling" (base of among), from Proto-Germanic *mangjan "to knead together" (see mingle). With pejorative suffix -rel. Meaning "person not of pure race" is from 1540s. As an adjective from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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