Zebra meaning

zēbrə
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Any of various striped organisms, such as a zebrafish.
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A referee in football.
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(vulgar, pejorative, slang) A bi-racial person, specifically one born to a member of the Sub-Saharan African race and a Caucasian.
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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.
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A butterfly (Heliconius charitonius) with black wings crossed by several yellowish bands.
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A referee who wears a vertically striped black-and-white shirt.
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(1) A connector with zebra-like stripes. See elastomeric connector.
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Any of three species of genus Equus: E. grevyi, E. quagga, or E. zebra, all with black and white stripes and native to Africa.
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(sports, slang) A referee.
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(medicine, slang) An unlikely diagnosis, especially for symptoms probably caused by a common ailment. (Originates in the advice often given to medical students: "When you hear hoof beats, think of horses, not zebras.")
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Any of several swift African mammals of the genus Equus, resembling the horse and having distinctive overall markings of alternating white and black or brown stripes.
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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

  • (biracial person): The term zebra, as used in its pejorative sense, was popularized on the television situation comedy The Jeffersons. The term was used by the series protagonist, George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley), to express disdain for his daughter-in-law, Jenny Willis Jefferson, whose father was white and mother was black.

    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