Definition of cheetah
: a long-legged spotted swift-moving African and formerly Asian cat (Acinonyx jubatus) about the size of a small leopard that has blunt nonretractile claws
Recent Examples of cheetah from the Web
Animal lovers will have a new way to check out the cheetahs, giraffes, tortoises and snakes at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens this summer.
Gizelle comes over to help coach her — and of course shows up wearing a cheetah-print jumpsuit.
The cheetah at times would jump into the orchestra pit, frightening the musicians.
The skull of a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), photographed at the National Museum of Natural History.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheetah'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
A cheetah is a slender, long-legged cat that lives on the plains of Africa and in the Middle East, where it is threatened with extinction. It is the fastest land animal in the world over short distances and can reach a speed of 60 mph (100 kph). Its claws differ from those of other cats in being only partly retractable and lacking protective sheaths. Cheetahs purr rather than roar. Cheetahs grow to about 55 in. (140 cm) long, excluding the 29-31-in. (75-80-cm) tail, and weigh 110-130 lbs. (50-60 kg). Their coarse fur is sandy yellow above, white below, and covered with small black spots; a black streak runs down the face from the corner of each eye.
Origin and Etymology of cheetah
Hindi cītā & Urdu chītā leopard, from Sanskrit citraka, from citra bright, variegated; akin to Old High German heitar bright — more at -hood
First Known Use: 1610
CHEETAH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cheetah for English Language Learners
: a large wild cat that lives in Asia and Africa and that can run very fast
CHEETAH Defined for Kids
Definition of cheetah for Students
: a long-legged spotted African and formerly Asian animal of the cat family that is the fastest animal on land
Seen and Heard
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