wil·​de·​beest | \ ˈwil-də-ˌbēst How to pronounce wildebeest (audio) \
plural wildebeests also wildebeest

Definition of wildebeest

: either of two large African antelopes (Connochaetes gnou and C. taurinus) with a head like that of an ox, short mane, long tail, and horns in both sexes that curve downward and outward

called also gnu

Illustration of wildebeest

Illustration of wildebeest

Examples of wildebeest in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The park is also home to an array of wildlife, including the springbok, Cape mountain zebra, black wildebeest, and the bat-eared fox. Gulnaz Khan, National Geographic, "Looking to escape the cold? Head to South Africa," 19 Nov. 2019 Its staff recently welcomed a newborn black wildebeest, crowned lemur and an Owston’s civet kitten, which was hand-reared by keepers — a first-time feat, according to the zoo. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Hold on Tight! Newquay Zoo's New Baby Capuchin Monkey Loves Piggyback Rides from Mom," 7 Nov. 2019 And the large buffalo, zebra and wildebeest had already been affected by habitat changes at the end of the last Ice Age, which was at its coldest about 18,000 years ago. Francis Thackeray, Quartz Africa, "Scientists now have evidence a large platinum-dense meteorite hit the earth 12,800 years ago," 8 Oct. 2019 Occasionally a rhino snort or hoot broke the silence, punctuated by the thundering hoofs of wildebeest and zebra heading south on their migration route. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What I Learned in the Trenches of a Rhino Translocation," 9 Oct. 2019 These included a giant buffalo (Syncerus antiquus), a large zebra (Equus capensis) and a large wildebeest (Megalotragus priscus). Francis Thackeray, Quartz Africa, "Scientists now have evidence a large platinum-dense meteorite hit the earth 12,800 years ago," 8 Oct. 2019 Loss of grasses could push out species such as wildebeest, which are famous for their spectacular annual migration. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "More Grazing Leads to Fewer Fires in the Serengeti," 11 Oct. 2019 When your tracker climbs up on the fender and your guide shifts gears, the adventure begins, a search for lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, hippos, buffalo, hyenas, zebras, impalas, giraffes, wildebeests, rhinos, crocodiles and more. Anne Z. Cooke, chicagotribune.com, "Wide-eyed in southern Africa: Sixteen days, five game-lodge destinations and none of them alike," 10 Oct. 2019 For instance the Serengeti in Tanzania is known worldwide for its safari animals and awe-inspiring wildebeest migration – and our work shows that around half of its grasslands burn each year. Colin Beale, Quartz Africa, "Scientists say comparing the Amazon rainforest fires to burning grasslands in Africa is misleading," 31 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wildebeest

Afrikaans wildebees, from wilde wild + bees ox

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Time Traveler for wildebeest

Time Traveler

The first known use of wildebeest was circa 1824

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wildebeest.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wildebeest. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for wildebeest


How to pronounce wildebeest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wildebeest

: a large African animal that has long curving horns


wil·​de·​beest | \ ˈwil-də-ˌbēst How to pronounce wildebeest (audio) \

Kids Definition of wildebeest

: a large African antelope with a head like that of an ox, curving horns, a short mane, and long tail

More from Merriam-Webster on wildebeest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wildebeest

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wildebeest

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