Definition of aardvark in English:


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  • A nocturnal burrowing mammal with long ears, a tubular snout, and a long extensible tongue, feeding on ants and termites. Aardvarks are native to Africa and have no close relatives.

    Also called ant bear

    Orycteropus afer, the only member of the family Orycteropidae and order Tubulidentata

    ‘All the animals had gathered there - giraffes, hippos, antelope, buffalo, warthogs, zebras, aardvarks, hyenas, mongooses, storks and weaver birds.’
    • ‘They also sometimes roost in the burrows of other mammals such as hedgehogs, porcupines, and aardvarks.’
    • ‘Aardvarks can travel as far as 16 km a night, visiting termite mounds.’
    • ‘Like a little aardvark discovering a termite mound, her tiny nose twitched ecstatically.’
    • ‘Also, the aardvark is reported to eat wild cucumbers in addition to ants and termites.’
    • ‘An aardvark's tear membrane protects its eyes against termite bites.’
    • ‘Local school children have been involved in making masks for the 50 animals, from aardvarks to zebras.’
    • ‘If the soil is too hard, aardvarks will move to areas where the digging is easier.’
    • ‘I'm off now to look up Dallas Zoo on the internet, and find out if they have aardvarks.’
    • ‘David's light caught the long-eared hump-backed shape of an aardvark, lumbering ahead of us at a steady trot.’



/ˈärdˌvärk/ /ˈɑrdˌvɑrk/


Late 18th century from South African Dutch, from aarde ‘earth’ + vark ‘pig’.