ze·​bu | \ˈzē-(ˌ)bü, -(ˌ)byü\

Definition of zebu 

: any of various breeds of domestic oxen developed in India that are often considered conspecific with the common ox (Bos taurus) or sometimes as a separate species (B. indicus) and are characterized by a large fleshy hump over the shoulders, a dewlap, pendulous ears, and marked resistance to the injurious effects of heat and insect attack

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Illustration of zebu

Examples of zebu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His successor will need to pull Embrapa into the 21st century, perhaps with the help of a few head of zebu. The Economist, "Tough times for Embrapa, a jewel of Brazilian innovation," 28 June 2018 Goats are precious, but not as sacred as hump-back zebu cattle. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "Madagascar skirted famine – barely. Now, it's boosting resilience before drought returns.," 25 July 2017 Come to the Old Town Hall to pet and feed friendly rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, goats, sheep and a miniature zebu. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 17 July 2017

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

1774, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zebu

French zébu

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Dictionary Entries near zebu






zebu cattle


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The first known use of zebu was in 1774

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ze·​bu | \ˈzē-byü \

Kids Definition of zebu

: an Asian domestic ox that has a large hump over the shoulders and loose skin with hanging folds

More from Merriam-Webster on zebu

Spanish Central: Translation of zebu

Comments on zebu

What made you want to look up zebu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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