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

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 Siku, another female Masai giraffe, was born last September. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Phoenix Zoo welcomes new baby giraffe born last week," 4 July 2018 There's also Maya, the baby giraffe, who was born in May and Milo, the harbor seal pup, who was born just a few weeks later. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Everything (old and new) you should do at the zoo with your kids," 25 June 2018 Tajiri, whose father is a 6-year-old giraffe named Oliver, now stands 10 feet tall. Fox News, "April the giraffe may be pregnant again," 21 June 2018 Audubon staff does not expect Poco to be the last addition to the center's giraffe crew this year. Hanna Krueger,, "A second baby giraffe arrives at Audubon Nature Institute: See photos, video," 28 Feb. 2018 At the foster home, the girl has a room with giraffes and hot-air balloons on the walls. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "‘I really miss my mom’: What becomes of a 5-year-old in Maryland and the other separated children now?," 21 June 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

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on giraffe

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lying above or upon

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