from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The domesticated ass (Equus asinus), having long ears and a loud bray.
  • noun Slang An obstinate person.
  • noun Slang A stupid person.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An ass; or (less frequently) a mule.
  • noun A stupid or obstinate fellow; an ass.
  • noun a small auxiliary engine not used for propelling, but for pumping water into the boilers, raising heavy weights, and like purposes.
  • noun a steam pump for feeding boilers, extinguishing fire, etc.; -- usually an auxiliary.
  • noun (Bot.) the large round seed of the Mucuna pruriens, a tropical leguminous plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Perhaps from the name Duncan or of imitative origin.]


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  • 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

  • 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

  • It certainly isn't.

    November 12, 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

  • 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?"


    "How do you spell spot?"


    "How do you spell spot?"


    "What do you do at a green light?"


    "You stop? At a green light?" (cue Nelson: "Ha ha!")

    November 14, 2007

  • found in Merriam Webster's Dictionary pg 24

    November 15, 2010