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Webster 1913 Edition


Jackal

Jack′alˊ

,
Noun.
[Pers.
shaghāl
: cf. OF.
jackal
, F.
chacal
; cf. Skr.
çṛgāla
.]
1.
(Zool.)
Any one of several species of carnivorous animals inhabiting Africa and Asia, related to the dog and wolf. They are cowardly, nocturnal, and gregarious. They feed largely on carrion, and are noted for their piercing and dismal howling.
☞ The common species of Southern Asia (
Canis aureus
) is yellowish gray, varied with brown on the shoulders, haunches, and legs. The common African species (
Canis anthus
) is darker in color.
2.
One who does mean work for another’s advantage, as jackals were once thought to kill game which lions appropriated.
[Colloq.]
Ld. Lytton.

Webster 1828 Edition


Jackal

JACK'AL

,
Noun.
An animal of the genus Canis, resembling a dog and a fox; a native of Asia and Africa. It preys on poultry and other small animals. It is the Canis aureus of Linne.

Definition 2021


jackal

jackal

English

Noun

jackal (plural jackals)

  1. Any of certain wild canids of the genus Canis, native to the tropical Old World and smaller than a wolf.
    • 1987, Brenda E. F. Beck, Peter J. Claus, Praphulladatta Goswami, Jawaharlal Handoo (editors), Folktales of India, page 289,
      In passing, it also mentions how the jackal and the tiger acquired their reddish spots. All of the animals referred to, except the deer, have tricksterlike personalities, both in this tale and in other story contexts. But the jackal is the most renowned of all for roguishness.
    • 2002, Fred H. Harrington, The Ethiopian Wolf, page 6,
      Until recently, scientists thought Ethiopian wolves were a type of jackal. They gave Ethiopian wolves names like Semien jackal, Simenian jackal, or Ethiopian jackal.
    • 2007, McComas Taylor, The Fall of the Indigo Jackal: The Discourse of Division and Pūrnabhadra's Pañcatantra, page 52,
      As we will see, the jackal is usually associated in the Indic context with death and impurity, and would therefore sit squarely at the bottom of Dumont's social hierarchy.
  2. A person who performs menial/routine tasks, a dogsbody.
  3. (pejorative) A person who behaves in an opportunistic way; especially a base collaborator.
  4. (slang, rare) A jack (the playing card.)

Hyponyms

Hypernyms

  • (any of certain wild canids of genus Canis): canid

Derived terms

Translations

Descendants

See also

References

  1. "jackal." Online Etymology Dictionary. 2008.

Verb

jackal (third-person singular simple present jackals, present participle jackalling, simple past and past participle jackalled)

  1. To perform menial or routine tasks
    • 1800, Pamphlets on British Taxation:
      They have jackalled for the great beast, to pick in turns the bones of each other; they have subserved those above, to oppress and defraud those below; and they are suffering, and, so far as classes can, justly suffering their purgation.