wa·​pi·​ti | \ ˈwä-pə-tē How to pronounce wapiti (audio) \
plural wapiti or wapitis

Definition of wapiti

: elk sense 1b Before the East was logged, tamed and farmed … it, too, was the home of a creature the color of wheat that the Shawnee called wapiti, and which the European settlers named elk.— Scott Weidensaul A bear was an occasional amusement; a wapiti was a constant necessity; but the only wild animal dangerous to man was a rattlesnake or a skunk.— Henry Adams

Examples of wapiti in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Increasing pressure on elk herds has left bulls better educated than the typical wapiti of two decades ago. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Calls You Need to Start Hunting Elk," 11 Aug. 2020 Besides wapiti and trout, bears, antelope, deer and bighorn sheep share this rugged country with elevation variations ranging from 8,000 to 14,000 feet, depending on where your boots take you. Joseph Albanese, Outdoor Life, "13 of the Best Public Lands Near Big Cities," 9 Mar. 2020 Shooting elk was only one of the practices used to stop the wapiti from eating crops. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "The Wild Game State Agencies Confiscate Does Not Go in a Dumpster," 10 Feb. 2020

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

1810, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wapiti

Shawnee wa·piti, literally, white rump

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wapiti

Time Traveler for wapiti

Time Traveler

The first known use of wapiti was in 1810

See more words from the same year

Statistics for wapiti

Last Updated

25 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wapiti.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wapiti. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on wapiti

Nglish: Translation of wapiti for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wapiti

Comments on wapiti

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!