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

Example Sentences

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, 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, 9 Mar. 2020 Shooting elk was only one of the practices used to stop the wapiti from eating crops. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, 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.

Word History


Shawnee wa·piti, literally, white rump

First Known Use

1810, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wapiti was in 1810

Dictionary Entries Near wapiti

Cite this Entry

“Wapiti.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wapiti. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



wa·​pi·​ti ˈwäp-ət-ē How to pronounce wapiti (audio)
plural wapiti or wapitis

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