Definition of giraffe in English:



  • A large African mammal with a very long neck and forelegs, having a coat patterned with brown patches separated by lighter lines. It is the tallest living animal.

    • ‘The desire to reach higher leaves led to longer necks, and later on, the giraffes ' offspring inherited that physical trait.’
    • ‘It's been observed in many other bird species besides parrots and macaws, as well as elephants, macaques, giraffes, rhinos and chimpanzees.’
    • ‘Okapis and giraffes are very different in their ecology and behavior.’
    • ‘But Madagascar's landscape may not be a bad fit for lions, giraffes, zebras, and hippos.’
    • ‘Our fathers used to hunt giraffes, water-bucks and antelopes and eat their meet.’
    • ‘The roads and pathways are lined with sculpted, totem-like lamp-posts in the shape of equine beasts, including giraffes, horses or deer.’
    • ‘While at a Kenyan beach resort last month they decided to return to the Maasai Mara animal reserves to see animals such as giraffes, lions and elephants.’
    • ‘A good idea is to board the little train which encircles the zoo enclosure and allows you to see the giraffes, hippos, zebra, camels and rhinos.’
    • ‘These animals include giraffes, penguins, macaques, bonobos, and geese.’
    • ‘As for the movie scenario, what if several zebras, hippos, giraffes, and lions were introduced to the island?’
    • ‘Long-necked giraffes and camels have the same seven neck bones as do short-necked mice and men.’
    • ‘The zoo offices were once the airport club house and the old hangers are now used as the living area of a giraffe and the Indian elephants.’
    • ‘The first deer and giraffes also appear, along with the first hyenas.’
    • ‘There are 1,000 animals, including tigers, giraffes, even rhinos.’
    • ‘Imagine all of these scholars bringing exotic animals like giraffes back from distant lands to London and people gawking at them.’
    • ‘The long neck of the giraffe and the short neck of the hippopotamus are both explained by the theory.’
    • ‘The geophone is capable of tracking not only elephants, but also other large mammals, including giraffes and lions.’
    • ‘The hippos snorted, the rhinos dozed and the giraffes nervously darted about as the hammer fell yesterday at Africa's largest wild animal auction.’
    • ‘Imagine a world without giraffes, zebras and antelope, except locked in cages for the paying public.’
    • ‘The preserve is home to elephants, giraffes, zebra, and various species of antelope and monkey.’


Late 16th century: from French girafe, Italian giraffa, or Spanish and Portuguese girafa, based on Arabic zarāfa. The animal was known in Europe in the medieval period, and isolated instances of names for it based on the Arabic are recorded in Middle English, when it was commonly called the camelopard.