gi·​raffe jə-ˈraf How to pronounce giraffe (audio)
plural giraffes
or plural giraffe : a large fleet African ruminant mammal (Giraffa camelopardalis) that is the tallest of living quadrupeds and has a very long neck and a short coat with dark blotches separated by pale lines
capitalized : camelopardalis
giraffish adjective

Illustration of giraffe

Illustration of giraffe
  • giraffe 1

Examples of giraffe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of the wildlife are rescue animals, including Sunday’s two wandering giraffes. Jack Bantock, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 It’s located just three miles south of downtown Dallas, and guests can see everything from a Galapagos tortoise to giraffes, elephants, and penguins. 15 of 20 Uncover the cultural sites and experiences in Fair Park. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 5 Feb. 2024 The collection includes an 8-foot ostrich, African lions, a zebra and the head and neck of a giraffe. Sarah Gish, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 In the real Sahara, a giraffe beats A lion’s ass every day On Instagram. Jericho Brown, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2024 Zoos across the United States have painting enrichment available for a variety of animals, including sea lions, elephants, giraffes and macaws. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 Ten years ago, the news that Marius the giraffe was put down by the Copenhagen Zoo went viral. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024 After a campaign by environmentalists, Benito the giraffe left Mexico’s northern border and its extreme weather conditions Sunday night and headed for a conservation park in central Mexico, where the climate is more akin to his natural habitat and already a home to other giraffes. Alicia Fernández, Fortune, 22 Jan. 2024 Though giraffes may get as much as 4.5 hours of sleep a day, according to some estimates, only 30 minutes of that is deep sleep. Discover Magazine, 13 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'giraffe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian giraffa, from Arabic zirāfa

First Known Use

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of giraffe was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near giraffe

Cite this Entry

“Giraffe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


gi·​raffe ˈjə-ˈraf How to pronounce giraffe (audio)
plural giraffes or giraffe
: a large swift cud-chewing spotted African mammal with a very long neck that is the tallest of living four-footed animals

More from Merriam-Webster on giraffe

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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