gi·​raffe | \jə-ˈraf \
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 \ adjective

Examples of giraffe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In keeping with the toy theme, the talented manicurist even drew a stuffed giraffe on one of the multihyphenate's fingers. Leah Prinzivalli, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Debuted a FAO Schwarz-Themed Manicure on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"," 24 Oct. 2018 Before you get your royal-obsessive hopes up, know that there won't be pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte petting a giraffe or even of Kate Middleton cheering Will on at his appearance. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Isn't Joining Prince William on His Upcoming Trip to Africa—And Here's Why," 22 Sep. 2018 Alas, the zoo’s efforts to land Geoffrey the giraffe might be a stretch. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Zoo’s efforts to ‘adopt’ Toys R Us mascot might be a stretch," 13 July 2018 Now that the giraffe is gone, the younger bulls are able to breed. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Kentucky Woman Branded 'White American Savage' After Posing With Dead Giraffe She Shot," 4 July 2018 The 18th century French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed that characteristics acquired in life could be inherited by succeeding generations, imagining that the giraffe’s long neck was the result of generations of prodigious stretching. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "The 19th-Century Crank Who Tried to Tell Us About the Microbiome," 15 June 2018 Highlights include lusterware ceramics from Moorish Spain and diplomatic gifts, such as a stuffed version of the real-life Medici giraffe sent by Sultan Qaitbay of Mamluk Egypt to Lorenzo the Magnificent in 1487. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Two Florence Museums Are Tracing the City’s 500-Year Connection to Islamic Art," 5 July 2018 Their arrivals also signal the possibility of baby giraffes and snow leopards in the future. Laney Ruckstuhl,, "New at the zoo: Foles the goat, named after quarterback that beat Patriots in Super Bowl," 10 May 2018 Approximately 200,000 people visit the park every year where animals such as the African bush elephant, Angolan giraffe and Southwest African lion are commonly spotted, in addition to the aforementioned honey badger and oryx. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Antelope sends honey badger flying in epic fight," 6 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near giraffe





giraffe camel

giraffe piano


Statistics for giraffe

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for giraffe

The first known use of giraffe was circa 1600

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More Definitions for giraffe



English Language Learners Definition of giraffe

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


gi·​raffe | \jə-ˈraf \

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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