Definition of caribou
: a large gregarious deer (Rangifer tarandus) of Holarctic taiga and tundra that usually has palmate antlers in both sexes —used especially for one of the New World —called also reindeer
Recent Examples of caribou from the Web
Critics counter that the road, located within the sprawling Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, threatens migratory birds and other animals, including caribou, brown bears and sea otters.
Two weeks after leaving Philadelphia, Dickerson, Oeser, and their charges entered the Banff park, 4,500 feet up, a spectacular range of peaks and glaciers, of alpine plateaus and lakes, of bears and caribou.
Tens of thousands of full-grown caribou along with countless calves dotted the Brooks Range slopes.
The Reindeer Dog is typically made from caribou, a type of reindeer meat.
Environmentalists value it for its migratory birds, caribou and other wildlife.
The sanctuary also has caribou, wolves, bears, a bald eagle and more.
There were caribou and eagles, wolves and bears, and just then millions of sockeye salmon were surging up from Bristol Bay to spawn in one of the world’s last great wild nurseries.
Reindeer—called caribou in North America—are the ultimate ungulate of winter, of course.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caribou.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of caribou
Canadian French, from Micmac γalipu
First Known Use: circa 1665See Words from the same year
CARIBOU Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of caribou for English Language Learners
: a large type of deer that lives in northern parts of the world
CARIBOU Defined for Kids
Definition of caribou for Students
: a large deer of northern and arctic regions that has antlers in both the male and female
Hint for caribou
The word caribou is used especially to refer to these animals when they live in North America. The word reindeer is usually used for these animals when they live in Europe and Asia.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up caribou? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).