quag·​ga ˈkwa-gə How to pronounce quagga (audio) ˈkwä- How to pronounce quagga (audio)
plural quaggas
: an extinct zebra (Equus quagga quagga) of southern Africa that had brown and white stripes chiefly on the head and neck, reddish-brown to brown upper parts, and whitish belly, tail, and legs
The last living quagga died at the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883 …Donald G. McNeil Jr.
The quagga, a subspecies of zebra, was once common in South Africa, but European settlers hunted them to the extreme for the meat and fur.Elana Glowatz
: quagga mussel
Native to Ukraine, the quagga now infests the [Great] lakes in even greater numbers than its invasive-species cousin the zebra mussel.Bill McGraw

Examples of quagga in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ecological damage wrought by zebra mussels is minor compared with their cousin, the quagga mussel. Dan Egan, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2019 Round gobies aggressively consume zebra and quagga mussels. Fiorella Ikeue, National Geographic, 17 Nov. 2020 Other invasives—mostly quagga mussels—have already stripped the lake of its food. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 22 Sep. 2017 Of particular interest for the Great Lakes are quagga mussels, said Harvey Bootsma, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee lake scientist. John Flesher, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Dec. 2022 Caroffino said tribal crews' need for gill netting to improve harvests has risen with the collapse of whitefish populations, which have suffered as invasive quagga mussels have gobbled up plankton and unraveled food chains. John Flesher, USA TODAY, 13 Dec. 2022 There are several ways his research could help Reclamation keep quagga mussel populations under control. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 Keller is investigating how well the barriers work against invertebrates — those little, sometimes microscopic, spineless organisms like quagga mussels, scud, water fleas and bloody red shrimp. Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Journal Sentinel, 26 Aug. 2022 For a long time, the quagga was thought to be its own species before it was discovered that it was closely related to the Plains Zebra and was, in fact, a subspecies of the zebra. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 21 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quagga.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


obsolete Afrikaans (now kwagga), from Khoikhoi quácha

First Known Use

1780, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quagga was in 1780

Dictionary Entries Near quagga

Cite this Entry

“Quagga.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quagga. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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