Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The domesticated ass (Equus asinus).
  • n. Slang An obstinate person.
  • n. Slang A stupid person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A domestic animal, Equus africanus asinus, similar to a horse.
  • n. A stubborn person.
  • n. A fool.
  • n. A small auxiliary engine, also called donkey engine.
  • n. A bad poker player.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ass; or (less frequently) a mule.
  • n. A stupid or obstinate fellow; an ass.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ass: a familiar term.
  • n. A stupid or obstinate and wrong-headed fellow.
  • n. In mech., a subsidiary apparatus for carrying a weight or load, or coming into action to steady and support a primary element.
  • n. A driving-frame or truck acting as a tractor on rails, to pull or haul a weight or load.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. domestic beast of burden descended from the African wild ass; patient but stubborn
  • n. the symbol of the Democratic Party; introduced in cartoons by Thomas Nast in 1874

Etymologies

Perhaps from the name Duncan or of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • found in Merriam Webster's Dictionary pg 24

    November 15, 2010

  • A particularly juvenile Mother Goose poem-thing:

    "I am a gold lock."
    "I am a gold key."
    "I am a silver lock."
    "I am a silver key."
    "I am a brass lock."
    "I am a brass key."
    "I am a lead lock."
    "I am a lead key."
    "I am a don lock."
    "I am a don key!"

    Reminds me of the old (equally lame) joke...
    "How do you spell spot?"
    "S-P-O-T."
    "How do you spell spot?"
    "S-P-O-T."
    "How do you spell spot?"
    "S-P-O-T."
    "What do you do at a green light?"
    "Stop!"
    "You stop? At a green light?" (cue Nelson: "Ha ha!")

    November 14, 2007

  • Yes ceebee, this word absolutely does sound like the braying of a donkey, yes! I've always thought so. In my mind I change the 'n' to an 'm', so I get "dommmmmm-keeeeey!"

    November 12, 2007

  • It certainly isn't.

    November 12, 2007

  • I found, when still a child, that if you say this word juuust so, it can sound like the animal's bray... which is why I'm putting it on my list now... :)

    Edit: is the WordNet definition really the most common usage?

    November 12, 2007

  • This for me is probably the funniest word to hear out loud in the entirety of the English language. Anything can be made laughable with the simple addition of the word donkey attached to it. ;)

    November 12, 2007