Definitions

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

  • n. A herbivorous marine mammal (Dugong dugon), native to tropical coastal waters of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and southwest Pacific Ocean and having flipperlike forelimbs and a deeply notched tail fin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant-eating aquatic marine mammal, of the genus Dugong, found in tropical regions. Dugong dugon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An aquatic herbivorous mammal (Halicore dugong), of the order Sirenia, allied to the manatee, but with a bilobed tail. It inhabits the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, East Indies, and Australia.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large aquatic herbivorous mammal of the order Sirenia, Halicore dugong, of the Indian seas.

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

  • n. sirenian tusked mammal found from eastern Africa to Australia; the flat tail is bilobate

Etymologies

New Latin Dugong, genus name, possibly from Malay duyong.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Tagalog dugong, from Malay duyung. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I know that on the eastern coast of Africa is found a smaller species of walrus called the dugong: it has long incisor teeth, but not tusks; and certainly resembles a seal rather than a walrus.’

    Swiss Family Robinson

  • Blacks harpoon dugong as they do turtle, but the sport demands greater patience and dexterity, for the dugong is a wary animal and shy, to be approached only with the exercise of artful caution.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • Half hippopotamus, half seal, yet in no way related to either, something between a pachyderm and cetacean, the dugong is a herbivorous marine mammal, commonly known as “the sea cow,” because of its resemblance in some particulars to that useful domesticated animal.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • The dugong is a shy aquatic mammal sometimes known as the "elephant of the sea".

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The dugong is a sea mammal found on the north coast of Australia.

    Peeps At Many Lands: Australia

  • Half hippopotamus, half seal, yet in no way related to either, something between a pachyderm and cetacean, the dugong is a herbivorous marine mammal, commonly known as "the sea cow," because of its resemblance in some particulars to that useful domesticated animal.

    Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • The resemblance, in the shape of the body and in the fin-like anterior limbs, between the dugong, which is a pachydermatous animal, and the whale, and between both these mammals and fishes, is analogical.

    On the Origin of Species~ Chapter 13 (historical)

  • He said this in a despairing tone, for the dugong, which is the

    The Castaways

  • I may as well say that the dugong is a large fish found in these waters, from ten to twelve feet in length, of the whale species.

    In the Eastern Seas

  • The human consumption of marine mammals poses a real and little-studied threat to animals like the dugong, which is similar to a manatee, and the Atlantic humpback dolphin, whose populations have been diminished in large stretches of their range because of a demand for their meat.

    NYT > Home Page

Comments

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  • From a sign in Mammalogy:
    [...] In the event of a fire and you're located in the Mammalogy Department, meet the rest of the staff under the Dugong by the department door ....

    I wonder what the janitors would do in case of fire.
    "Quick! Look up dugong in the encyclopedia!"

    October 14, 2008

  • "...he was gazing into the large insipid kindly square-nosed face of a dugong... A young female dugong, about eight feet long, with her child. Sometimes she held it to her bosom with her flipper, both of them poised upright in the sea, staring straight before them in a very vacant manner... she showed the utmost solicitude for her child, occasionally going so far as to wash its face, which seemed a pointless task in so limpid a sea. Was her presence, and that of some fellow-mermaidens much farther out, a sign of the coming change of seasons?"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 55

    March 6, 2008