ze·​bra | \ ˈzē-brə How to pronounce zebra (audio) , Canadian and British also ˈze- \
plural zebras

Definition of zebra

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

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Other Words from zebra

zebrine \ ˈzē-​ˌbrīn How to pronounce zebra (audio) , Canadian and British also  ˈze-​ \ adjective or noun

Examples of zebra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The zebra stripe can be spotted as bedside table in the Cercoschene master suite, adding an element of whimsy to the stately chambers. Paul Jebara, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 The problem was there was almost no North American literature on the life cycle of the zebra mussel because — until then — there had been no North American zebra mussels. Dan Egan, jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 My favorite tomato of all time is a green zebra tomato. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Aug. 2021 In the next scene, Ramona, 64, dresses up as Leah, 38, for a costume party, complete with long blonde hair and a sheer zebra print top. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Another invasive species is showing up on recreational lakes, one that could become more insidious than zebra mussels or curly pondweed. Ron Way, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 Keeya was the mother of 1-year-old Malawa, who was the first Hartmann’s mountain zebra born at the zoo. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 23 Mar. 2021 The 24-acre lake, which has a public access, is across a road from Little Rabbit Lake, where zebra mussels were found in 2006. Star Tribune, 3 July 2021 This zebra-print pick features a flattering, form-fitting design that can either be dressed up or down, depending on your evening plans. Nishka Dhawan, USA TODAY, 29 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of zebra

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for zebra

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

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Dictionary Entries Near zebra



zebra antelope

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Statistics for zebra

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zebra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebra. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for zebra



English Language Learners Definition of zebra

: an African animal that looks like a horse and has black and white stripes covering its body


ze·​bra | \ ˈzē-brə How to pronounce zebra (audio) \

Kids Definition of zebra

: an African animal that is related to the horse and has a hide striped in black and white or black and buff

More from Merriam-Webster on zebra

Nglish: Translation of zebra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zebra


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