Zebra Definition

zēbrə
zebras
noun
Any of several swift African perissodactylous mammals (family Equidae) of the same genus (Equus) as the horse and ass, having an erect mane and distinctive patterns of black and white stripes.
Webster's New World
A butterfly (Heliconius charitonius) with black wings crossed by several yellowish bands.
Webster's New World
Any of various striped organisms, such as a zebrafish.
American Heritage
A referee who wears a vertically striped black-and-white shirt.
Webster's New World
A referee in football.
American Heritage
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Other Word Forms of Zebra

Noun

Singular:
zebra
Plural:
zebras

Origin of Zebra

  • Italian from Portuguese zevra from Old Portuguese zevro, zevra wild ass perhaps from Vulgar Latin eciferus alteration of Latin equiferus a kind of wild horse equus horse equine ferus wild feral Sense 3, from the referee's striped shirt

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • While the word was traditionally pronounced with a long initial vowel in standard English, during the twentieth century a vowel shift occurred in regions of England, with the adoption of an initial short vowel. This pronunciation is now used throughout the UK and Commonwealth. The long vowel pronunciation remains standard in American English.

    From Wiktionary

  • 1600; from Italian zebra, from Portuguese zebra, zebro (“zebra"), from Old Portuguese enzebro, ezebra, azebra (“wild ass"), from earlier cebrario (882), ezebrario (897), from Vulgar Latin *eciferus, from Latin equiferus (“wild horse") (Pliny).

    From Wiktionary

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