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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from giraffe

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

Examples of giraffe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The unnamed female, weighing in at 119 pounds, was the 55th giraffe born at Zoo Miami, the zoo said. Chris Perkins,, "Two giraffes born at Zoo Miami. The calves took quite a fall at birth.," 6 Apr. 2021 The giraffe, who was 20, was euthanized because of worsening arthritis that increasingly impacted her quality of life, Animal Adventure Park said in a statement. NBC News, "April the giraffe, who went viral with 2017 birth, is dead," 3 Apr. 2021 The average lifespan of a giraffe in captivity is 20 to 25 years, longer than the 10 to 15 years in the wild, according to the park. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "April, the giraffe known for viral 2017 pregnancy, dies," 2 Apr. 2021 Looking at the Energy Department headquarters — once described by a Washington Post critic as an elephant teetering on the legs of a giraffe — in the waning light, my own legs seemed a little sturdier, my feet more firmly on the ground. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, "Brutalist buildings aren’t unlovable. You’re looking at them wrong.," 25 Mar. 2021 So the team decided to see how the animals would respond to high blood pressure, the normal condition of the giraffe. Sofia Moutinho, Science | AAAS, "Giraffe genome holds keys to its peculiar body—and clues to hypertension treatments," 17 Mar. 2021 On Monday, Hasina — a 12-year-old Masai giraffe at the Los Angeles Zoo in California — died after giving birth to a stillborn calf. Gabrielle Chung,, "8-Year-Old Giraffe at Maryland Zoo Unexpectedly Dies: 'We Are Devastated'," 5 Mar. 2021 Published in Science Advances this week, the study identifies 490 genes with unique adaptations in the giraffe. Sofia Moutinho, Science | AAAS, "Giraffe genome holds keys to its peculiar body—and clues to hypertension treatments," 17 Mar. 2021 Recent gems include a $119,000 one bedroom, one bathroom apartment filled with large safari animal statues—including a giraffe peering into the shower. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Exploring the Wild World of Weird Homes on Zillow Can Be a Cabin Fever Cure," 15 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of giraffe

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for giraffe

Italian giraffa, from Arabic zirāfa

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about giraffe

Time Traveler for giraffe

Time Traveler

The first known use of giraffe was circa 1600

See more words from the same year

Statistics for giraffe

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Giraffe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!