Definition of basenji in English:


nounplural noun basenjis

  • A small hunting dog of a central African breed, which growls and yelps but does not bark.

    ‘Landreth had been involved for years with basenjis, the barkless breed that originated in Africa, and was an active supporter of their rescue efforts.’
    • ‘There was a cocker spaniel, a Labrador, a Dalmatian, a Jack Russell, a husky, a golden retriever, a beagle, a poodle, three kinds of setters, a basset hound, a Great Dane, several different terriers, a basenji, a St. Bernard, and a mutt.’
    • ‘As Paul studies for his Series 7 exam, Kimberly massages the gums of a basenji, and a former tech writer whips something other than hyperbolic verbiage into submission, I find myself feeling strangely hopeful.’
    • ‘Joanne Mariner is a FindLaw columnist who learned a lot about animal rights from a basenji named Punk.’
    • ‘Because I wanted a basenji puppy, been thinking of getting one for about four months.’



/bəˈsen(d)ZHē/ /bəˈsɛn(d)ʒi/


Early 20th century (in the historical sense ‘Congolese person who has not adopted European customs or converted to Christianity’): probably from Lingala, ‘wild ones, indigenous people or animals’.