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

But in a real steal-your-thunder moment, Kipele, a 23-year-old giraffe at the Denver Zoo, has just welcomed her own baby, Dobby. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Surprise! There's a New Baby Giraffe, But Not the One You've Been Waiting For," 3 Mar. 2017 Settled into their private contemporary bush farmhouse on the Phinda Game Reserve, the Getty crew spent their afternoons marveling at the sight of wild zebras, elephants, giraffes, and more. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Rosetta Getty Takes Spring Break on a South African Safari," 9 May 2019 Drawing inspiration from his photo series shot at the iconic Parker Palm Springs Hotel, the artist designed 14 different textiles featuring illustrations of flamingos, giraffes, palm trees and more. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Instagram’s Hottest Photographer Just Launched a Kids’ Line Even Adults Will Love," 25 Apr. 2019 The group classified giraffes as vulnerable to extinction in 2016. Heidi Vogt, WSJ, "Trump Administration Sued Over Giraffes and Endangered Species List," 6 Dec. 2018 Also just ten miles from Nairobi: the Giraffe Centre, set on a 60-acre sanctuary with a herd of Rothschild giraffe that eat right out of the palm of your hand. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Flight Might Be the Best New Way to Visit Africa," 8 Nov. 2018 Zuberi, an 8-year-old reticulated giraffe, died Monday afternoon (May 14) after getting his neck caught in a metal railing in a behind-the-scenes enclosure at an Atlanta zoo. Mike Scott,, "Giraffe dies in freak accident at Atlanta zoo," 16 May 2018 Hadid skipped the shore and instead snuggled up to a giraffe in a luxe athleisure look that consisted of a sports bra, gym shorts, and a Chanel belt bag. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "How to Dress Like a Model on Vacation, From Bella Hadid to Emily Ratajkowski," 23 July 2018 Zoo workers moved elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees and hundreds of other species indoors for safety. Jennifer Kay, Fox News, "WHAT'S HAPPENING: Rescues needed in Florence's heavy rains," 14 Sep. 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

16 Jun 2019

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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 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

Comments on giraffe

What made you want to look up giraffe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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