gi·​raffe jə-ˈraf How to pronounce giraffe (audio)
plural giraffes
or plural giraffe : a large fleet African ruminant mammal (Giraffa camelopardalis) that is the tallest of living quadrupeds and has a very long neck and a short coat with dark blotches separated by pale lines
capitalized : camelopardalis
giraffish adjective

Illustration of giraffe

Illustration of giraffe
  • giraffe 1

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Rhinos of various shapes and sizes used to be much more common on Earth, and Paraceratherium was like a rhino rendition of a giraffe. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Apr. 2023 Ellie comes across an opening in the building where there are beautiful vines and a giraffe eating. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 13 Mar. 2023 The baby giraffe, named Tisa, weighed 122.5 pounds and stood 6 feet tall when born on Sept. 9, the zoo announced. Nicole Asbury, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2022 The zoo expects the female giraffe (unnamed for now) to be on view with mother Sabra full time going forward. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2022 While guests can look at the resident African lions, the Brevard Zoo is also known for its kayaking tours that offer visitors a fascinating perspective on the local giraffes, lemurs, and rhinos along the park’s river. Jared Ranahan, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2023 Officials were hopeful the exhibit — built to replicate the African grasslands, where elephants mingle alongside giraffes, zebras and ostriches — would turn around the venue’s image. Zaeem Shaikh, Dallas News, 11 Apr. 2023 That same year, another giraffe named Julius died after a prolonged illness. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2023 Special experiences include Seminole Aerial Adventures zipline courses, rhinoceros encounters and giraffe feedings. Patrick Connolly, Orlando Sentinel, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'giraffe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian giraffa, from Arabic zirāfa

First Known Use

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of giraffe was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near giraffe

Cite this Entry

“Giraffe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


gi·​raffe ˈjə-ˈraf How to pronounce giraffe (audio)
plural giraffes or giraffe
: a large swift cud-chewing spotted African mammal with a very long neck that is the tallest of living four-footed animals

More from Merriam-Webster on giraffe

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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