Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[pang-guh-lin, pang-goh-] /ˈpæŋ gə lɪn, pæŋˈgoʊ-/
any mammal of the order Pholidota, of Africa and tropical Asia, having a covering of broad, overlapping, horny scales and feeding on ants and termites.
Also called scaly anteater.
Origin of pangolin
1765-75; < Malay pengguling (dial. or bazaar Malay name for the animal) one who rolls up, equivalent to peng- agentive prefix + guling roll up or around; so called from its habit of curling into a ball when threatened Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pangolin
Historical Examples
  • In their belts they carried several knives, while the musket and the little round cap of pangolin skin completed their equipment.

    The Great White Queen William Le Queux
  • Lastly, the pangolin (Manis) is represented by two species in the eastern Himalaya.

  • This ant-eater is known as the “pangolin,” or “manis,” but there are several species of “pangolin” not African.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for pangolin


any mammal of the order Pholidota found in tropical Africa, S Asia, and Indonesia, having a body covered with overlapping horny scales and a long snout specialized for feeding on ants and termites Also called scaly anteater
Word Origin
C18: from Malay peng-gōling, from gōling to roll over; from its ability to roll into a ball
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pangolin

1774, "scaly toothless mammal of Java," from Malay peng-goling "roller," from its habit of curling into a ball; from peng- (denominative prefix) + goling "to roll." Later extended to related species in Asia and Africa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for pangolin

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pangolin