Definition of hartebeest in US English:



  • A large African antelope with a long head and sloping back, related to the gnus.

    Genera Alcelaphus, Damaliscus, and Sigmoceros, family Bovidae: three or four species, in particular the red hartebeest (A. buselaphus), which typically has a reddish-brown coat

    • ‘The grazers are mainly antelope, wildebeest, hartebeest, oribi, impala, gazelle, reedbuck, roan and sable antelope.’
    • ‘In September game was introduced to Klipriviersberg, a 615-hectare reserve 11 kilometres south of the city: five zebras, five blesbok, four red hartebeest, six black wildebeest and 12 mountain reedbuck.’
    • ‘This magical spot not only offers a range of wildlife, including zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, mountain reedbuck and duiker, it also has 150 bird species, 600 plant species and 50 tree types.’
    • ‘Mixed herds of impala, wildebeest, zebra and hartebeest are a common sight; as there is safety in numbers.’
    • ‘Other game reintroductions include Liechtenstein hartebeest and steenbuck.’


Late 18th century: from South African Dutch, from Dutch hert ‘hart’ + beest ‘beast’.