harte·​beest ˈhär-tə-ˌbēst How to pronounce hartebeest (audio)
: either of two large African antelopes (Alcelaphus buselaphus and Sigmoceros lichtensteinii) with long faces and short annulate divergent horns
also : a smaller antelope (Damaliscus hunteri) of eastern Africa having a horizontal white line between the eyes

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Within that same area of the site were the bones of gazelles, zebra, wildebeest and the antelope-like hartebeest. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 7 June 2017 Striped throngs of zebra bound below among groups of red hartebeest and shaggy waterbuck. Paul Steyn, National Geographic, 2 May 2019 Most of the animal bones come from gazelles, but there were also the cut and broken bones of hartebeests, wildebeests, zebras, buffalos, porcupines, hares, tortoises, freshwater mollusks, snakes and ostrich eggs. Bill Lindelof, sacbee.com, 7 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hartebeest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


obsolete Afrikaans (now hartbees), from Dutch, from hart deer + beest beast

First Known Use

1786, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hartebeest was in 1786

Dictionary Entries Near hartebeest

Cite this Entry

“Hartebeest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hartebeest. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


harte·​beest ˈhärt-(ə-)ˌbēst How to pronounce hartebeest (audio)
: either of two large African antelopes with a long head and ringed horns

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