okapi

noun
oka·pi | \ ō-ˈkä-pē \

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

Meghan the baby okapi was born at a London zoo in December after a 30-minute labor. Felice León, The Root, "Watch: There’s a New Meghan in Town ... and She’s an Animal," 18 Jan. 2018 In fact, their endangered status is part of the reason why (okapi) Meghan got her name. Evelyn Wang, Teen Vogue, "The Zoological Society of London Named Their New Okapi After Meghan Markle," 18 Jan. 2018 Its silhouette is also quite different, with the nine-foot tall creature resembling a moose with a long neck or an okapi, the other member of the giraffid family that’s alive today. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Four-Horned Giraffe Ancestor Unearthed in Spain," 3 Nov. 2017 The study also indicates that our remaining giraffids, the giraffe and the okapi, are actually pretty far apart in evolutionary terms reports Weintraub. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Four-Horned Giraffe Ancestor Unearthed in Spain," 3 Nov. 2017 Biologists think the zebra-like stripes of the okapi — a.k.a. Brandon Keim, WIRED, "How “Africa’s Unicorn” Hides Itself," 11 Sep. 2008

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about okapi

Dictionary Entries near okapi

Oka

Okanagon

Okanogan

okapi

Okavango

Okayama

Okazaki

Statistics for okapi

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for okapi

The first known use of okapi was in 1900

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for okapi

okapi

noun
oka·pi | \ ō-ˈkä-pē \

Kids Definition of okapi

: an animal of the African forests related to the giraffe

More from Merriam-Webster on okapi

See words that rhyme with okapi

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about okapi

Comments on okapi

What made you want to look up okapi? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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