gi·​raffe | \ jə-ˈraf How to pronounce giraffe (audio) \
plural giraffes

Definition of giraffe

1 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
2 capitalized : camelopardalis

Illustration of giraffe

Illustration of giraffe

giraffe 1

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Other Words from giraffe

giraffish \ jə-​ˈra-​fish How to pronounce giraffish (audio) \ adjective

Examples of giraffe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If González had his way, the new addition to the herd of giraffes would be called Sarita. Washington Post, "Mexico City zoo welcomes second baby giraffe of the year," 29 Dec. 2019 The zoo cares for a total of seven giraffes, according to spokeswoman Linda Hardwick. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "The Phoenix Zoo's 'most mischievous and outgoing giraffe' has died at age 14," 22 Dec. 2019 Evening fell soft upon the savannah, and the giraffe slept soundly, curled up on the ground. Riane Konc, The New Yorker, "Aesop’s Fables Written After a Bad Breakup," 5 Feb. 2020 The latest addition to the zoo’s family is the 17th giraffe born there since 1889. Maria Pasquini,, "Baby Giraffe Born at the Cincinnati Zoo Just Days After the Death of Its Father," 25 Nov. 2019 Perhaps your eye is drawn to the tall and graceful giraffe or the sly cheetah. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "'The Lion King' roars into Louisville with stunning costumes and vibrant choreography," 2 Nov. 2019 Como Zoo’s giraffes are available for sponsorship, a unique way to help with wildlife conservation efforts. J.d. Duggan, Twin Cities, "Como Zoo names its baby giraffe," 21 Oct. 2019 The reason for the giraffe’s six-foot neck remains a mys- tery. National Geographic, "Unique anatomy sets giraffe apart in the animal kingdom," 20 Sep. 2019 Attenborough warns, as the giraffes begin to clash. Gareth Arnott, Scientific American, "What Are Animals Thinking when They Face Off?," 12 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'giraffe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of giraffe

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for giraffe

Italian giraffa, from Arabic zirāfa

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Time Traveler for giraffe

Time Traveler

The first known use of giraffe was circa 1600

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Statistics for giraffe

Last Updated

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Giraffe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for giraffe


How to pronounce giraffe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of giraffe

: a very tall African animal that has an extremely long neck and legs


gi·​raffe | \ jə-ˈraf How to pronounce giraffe (audio) \

Kids Definition of giraffe

: a spotted mammal of Africa with a very long neck that feeds mostly on the leaves of trees and is the tallest of living animals on land

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More from Merriam-Webster on giraffe

Spanish Central: Translation of giraffe

Nglish: Translation of giraffe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of giraffe for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about giraffe

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