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 fleet African mammals (Equus burchelli, E. grevyi, 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 zebrine (audio) , Canadian and British also  ˈze-​ \ adjective or noun

Examples of zebra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The lodge can accommodate up to 34 guests in its range of manor suites and thatched-roof cottages that face a tranquil river and brilliant red rocks where zebras roam. Karen Carmichael, National Geographic, "These African lodges lead the way in wildlife conservation," 9 Dec. 2019 Black cows painted to look like zebras are significantly less likely to endure pesky horse fly bites — nearly 50% less, according to a new study published in PLOS One. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Cows painted like zebras can fend off flies better than their plain-coated counterparts," 8 Oct. 2019 On Wednesday morning, two zebras escaped from Circus Barlay, a traveling circus which was in the northeastern town Tessin at the time, The Guardian reported. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Zebra Shot and Killed After Escaping from the Circus and Causing a Crash on German Highway," 3 Oct. 2019 With their striking black-and-white stripes, zebras boast one of the most iconic coats of the animal kingdom. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Spotted in Kenya: A Baby Zebra With Polka Dots," 20 Sep. 2019 On Thursday, the zebra was anesthetized so that the specialists could perform some followup treatment to its hoof. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "'Mani-pedi’ for endangered zebra in Miami," 13 Sep. 2019 The group said the Moorpark facility has about 50 animals including tigers, leopards, birds of prey and zebras. CBS News, "Tigers injure California woman who raised them since they were cubs," 8 Dec. 2019 Settled into their private contemporary bush farmhouse on the Phinda Game Reserve, the Getty crew spent their afternoons marveling at the sight of wild zebras, elephants, giraffes, and more. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Rosetta Getty Takes Spring Break on a South African Safari," 9 May 2019 For Slim that means a comfortable velour tracksuit; for Queen, a skimpy zebra-stripe slip dress and high-heeled boots. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Queen & Slim': Film Review | AFI 2019," 15 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for zebra

Time Traveler

The first known use of zebra was in 1597

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Statistics for zebra

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zebra.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebrine. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for zebra


How to pronounce zebra (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on zebra

Spanish Central: Translation of zebra

Nglish: Translation of zebra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zebra

Comments on zebra

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