Aardvark Definition

A burrowing mammal (Orycteropus afer) of sub-Saharan Africa, having a stocky body, large ears, a long tubular snout, and powerful digging claws for feeding on ants and termites.
American Heritage
A large, burrowing, nocturnal S African mammal (Orycteropus afer, order Tubulidentata) that feeds on ants and termites: it is squat and heavy with a long, sticky tongue and a long head ending in a round, piglike snout.
Webster's New World

The nocturnal, insectivorous, burrowing, mammal Orycteropus afer, of the order Tubulidentata, somewhat resembling a pig, common in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa. [First attested in the late 18th c.]

The aardvark burrows in the ground and feeds mostly on termites, which it catches with its long, slimy tongue.

(slang, particularly in the southeast US) A silly or credulous person who is prone to mistakes or blunders.

I walked into the wrong bathroom like a total aardvark.

Other Word Forms of Aardvark



Origin of Aardvark

  • From Afrikaans aardvarken (obsolete), erdvark, from Afrikaans aarde (“earth”), (from Dutch, from Middle Dutch aerde) + Afrikaans vark (“pig”), (from Middle Dutch varken (“pig”)).Early European colonists in South Africa noticed that the animal was similar to a pig, while "aarde" hints at the animal's habit of burrowing.

    From Wiktionary

  • Obsolete Afrikaans aarde earth (from Middle Dutch aerde er-2 in Indo-European roots) vark pig (from Middle Dutch varken porko- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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