oka·​pi | \ ō-ˈkä-pē How to pronounce okapi (audio) \

Definition of okapi

: an African ungulate mammal (Okapia johnstoni) that is closely related to the giraffe but has a relatively short neck, a coat typically of solid reddish chestnut on the trunk, yellowish white on the cheeks, and purplish-black and cream rings on the upper parts of the legs

Illustration of okapi

Illustration of okapi

Examples of okapi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bohmann’s group collected 40 air samples in three locations around the Copenhagen Zoo: the tropical rainforest house, the okapi stable and in the outdoor space between animal enclosures. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Jan. 2022 On the other hand, the giraffe has lost at least 53 olfactory genes compared with the okapi. Sofia Moutinho, Science | AAAS, 17 Mar. 2021 The new animal, named Ede by zookeepers, was born on September 21 after its mother, Oni the okapi, went into labor the previous evening, according to a news release. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 30 Sep. 2020 Behavior and reproduction Active during the day, the elusive okapi prefers to be alone. National Geographic, 2 Mar. 2020 Included on the tour is an okapi, black rhino, hippo, African wild dog, Masai Giraffe, African elephant, lion, warthog and white rhino — which Katelyn says is her favorite. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 6 Apr. 2020 The okapi is the giraffe’s closest living relative. National Geographic, 20 Sep. 2019 Scientists first became aware of the okapi, which has a long tongue and legs proportioned like those of a giraffe, at the turn of the 20th century. National Geographic, 20 Sep. 2019 Meghan the baby okapi was born at a London zoo in December after a 30-minute labor. Felice León, The Root, 18 Jan. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'okapi.' 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 okapi

1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for okapi

Mvuba (language spoken west of Lake Edward, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

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Cite this Entry

“Okapi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/okapi. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for okapi


oka·​pi | \ ō-ˈkä-pē How to pronounce okapi (audio) \

Kids Definition of okapi

: an animal of the African forests related to the giraffe

More from Merriam-Webster on okapi

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about okapi


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