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 giraffish (audio) \ adjective

Examples of giraffe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Think: Mufasa poised on the ledge of a stone outcropping, with Rafiki the baboon godfather next to him hoisting little Simba aloft for all the elephants, giraffes, zebras, meerkats and warthogs below to admire. Greg Jefferson,, "Jefferson: Economic development — or a giveaway of tax dollars?," 7 Nov. 2019 Humans, baboons, giraffes, elephants and even dolphins divide themselves into family units that are part of larger clans that may have ties or relationships to other groups. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Beautiful Blue Turkey-Like Birds Have Tiny Brains and Huge Social Networks," 6 Nov. 2019 When your tracker climbs up on the fender and your guide shifts gears, the adventure begins, a search for lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, hippos, buffalo, hyenas, zebras, impalas, giraffes, wildebeests, rhinos, crocodiles and more. Anne Z. Cooke,, "Wide-eyed in southern Africa: Sixteen days, five game-lodge destinations and none of them alike," 10 Oct. 2019 Enjoy three days on safari here, looking for big cats, giraffes, oryx, rare black-faced impalas, and endemic birds like the bare-cheeked babbler. National Geographic, "Namibia Expedition: Desert Safari and Big Cat Conservation," 15 Sep. 2019 The shuttered green buildings and the open central pit used to be home to monkeys, giraffes, elephants and bears. Samantha Karlin, Washington Post, "In the heart of Madrid, a park for all seasons," 9 Aug. 2019 The series will feature a number of animals, including pandas, giraffes, Galápagos tortoises, koalas, elephants, mountain lions, and two baby cheetahs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "In 2019, can the San Diego Zoo make new fans out of TV viewers?," 3 Aug. 2019 Perhaps the most enthralling of the additions was the bionic menagerie of monkeys and giraffes that roamed the park daily. Megan Venzin, Billboard, "The Nine Best Moments of Electric Zoo 2019 Featuring Kaskade, Alison Wonderland, Dog Blood & More," 3 Sep. 2019 There are 14 giraffes — five of those are calves, including Violet (born in February) and Acacia (born in April), who are best friends. Kathleen Christiansen,, "Disney: Animal Kingdom cast members share facts on Wild Africa Trek," 8 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.

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

Statistics for giraffe

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for giraffe

The first known use of giraffe was circa 1600

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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