ze·​bu | \ ˈzē-(ˌ)bü How to pronounce zebu (audio) , -(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

Illustration of zebu

Illustration of zebu

Examples of zebu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is a boy driving a herd of zebu up the side path from their morning bath in the sea. Andrea Lee, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2020 Sweet, sweet Humphrey the miniature zebu stands just over two feet tall. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 8 Sep. 2019 The book’s acknowledgments make reference to a zebu (cow) skeleton in their living room. Julie Zickefoose, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2018 Make the most out of summer’s last hoorah with Byredo’s zebu horn comb, perfect for detangling salty lengths. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, 28 Aug. 2018 Thousands of villagers converge here to trade goods and to buy and sell zebu. Tom Downey, WSJ, 18 July 2018 His successor will need to pull Embrapa into the 21st century, perhaps with the help of a few head of zebu. The Economist, 28 June 2018 Goats are precious, but not as sacred as hump-back zebu cattle. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, 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, 17 July 2017 See More

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.

First Known Use of zebu

1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zebu

French zébu

Learn More About zebu

Dictionary Entries Near zebu




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for zebu

Cite this Entry

“Zebu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebu. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for zebu


ze·​bu | \ ˈzē-byü How to pronounce zebu (audio) \

Kids Definition of zebu

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!