zebra

noun

ze·​bra ˈzē-brə How to pronounce zebra (audio)
 Canadian and British also  ˈze-
plural zebras
1
plural also zebra : any of several swift African mammals (Equus grevyi, E. quagga synonym E. burchelli, and E. zebra) related to the horse but distinctively and conspicuously patterned in stripes of black or dark brown and white or buff
2
[from the shirts patterned in black-and-white stripes worn by football referees] : referee sense 2
3
zebrine
ˈzē-ˌbrīn How to pronounce zebra (audio)
 Canadian and British also  ˈze-
adjective or noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Dries Van Noten skirt from his spring 2020 collaboration with Christian Lacroix, and carrying a zebra stripe Brandon Blackwood lunch box bag. José Criales-unzueta, Vogue, 16 Nov. 2022 Maybe a zebra from the zoo has escaped and has wandered down your street. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Prinsloo posed with a brown and black zebra-print zip-up sweater, a dark shirt, dark jeans and a pair of black combat boots, with a Prada crossbody bag slung across her bump. Georgia Slater, Peoplemag, 27 Oct. 2022 As Sanctuary Kichakani follows the migration path, guests can expect to view a wide variety of game, from wildebeest and zebra to the Big Five. Shelby Knick, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Prinsloo posed with a brown and black zebra-print zip-up sweater, a dark shirt, dark jeans and a pair of black combat boots, with a Prada crossbody bag slung across her bump. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 18 Oct. 2022 Splashes of zebra and plaid prints also made an appearance. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, 15 Sep. 2022 Ballast water has introduced highly invasive species like zebra mussels to the Great Lakes, which have caused massive upheaval to the native ecosystem. Sylvia Goodman, Chicago Tribune, 17 July 2022 The story focus on Bella, a little zebra who instead of stripes was born with spots. Emiliano De Pablos, Variety, 19 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zebra.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Portuguese zebra, zebro wild ass, perhaps from Latin equiferus, kind of wild horse, from equus horse + ferus wild — more at equine, fierce

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of zebra was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near zebra

Cite this Entry

“Zebra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebra. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

zebra

noun
ze·​bra ˈzēb-rə How to pronounce zebra (audio)
plural zebras also zebra
1
: any of several hoofed plant-eating African mammals that are related to the horse, have a hide striped in black or dark brown and white or buff, and are swift runners
2
: a small Indian fish with blue and silver stripes that is often kept in tropical aquariums

More from Merriam-Webster on zebra

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