cheetah

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noun chee·tah \ˈchē-tə\

Definition of cheetah

plural

cheetahs

also

cheetah

  1. :  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

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.

Illustration of cheetah

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

Other Mammals Terms


CHEETAH Defined for English Language Learners

cheetah

play
noun chee·tah \ˈchē-tə\

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

cheetah

play
noun chee·tah \ˈchē-tə\

Definition of cheetah for Students

  1. :  a long-legged spotted African and formerly Asian animal of the cat family that is the fastest animal on land


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