Definition of leopard in US English:



  • 1A large, solitary cat that has a yellowish-brown or brown coat with black spots and usually hunts at night, widespread in the forests of Africa and southern Asia.

    Panthera pardus, family Felidae. See also black panther

    Also called panther
    • ‘But a new survey suggests that the country may now be home to wild leopards, pumas, and other big cats.’
    • ‘The dogs, Anatolian shepherds, live with the livestock on the range and protect them from cheetahs and leopards.’
    • ‘I will do this with the passion of a wild animal, such as the leopard or cheetah, or perhaps the polar bear.’
    • ‘The list of the critically endangered include the black rhino and Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard of Asia.’
    • ‘The British Big Cats Society says its 15-month survey indicates there is little doubt that big cats such as leopards, lynxes and pumas are roaming Britain.’
    • ‘The region is rich in biodiversity and also home to about 50 tigers, hundreds of wild Indian elephants, Indian bison, leopards, and many types of birds.’
    • ‘It is also a refuge for elephants, buffaloes, zebras, cheetahs, leopards, lions, waterbucks and impalas and it contains the only protected indigenous forest remaining in the area.’
    • ‘The result was the adoption of husbandry practices that allowed populations of elephants, zebras, giraffes, and antelope to flourish, serving as food to leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs.’
    • ‘Lions and other large predators like hyenas and leopards are killed by livestock owners who have no patience for the carnivores' appetite for cows, sheep, and goats.’
    • ‘Long-term studies of solitary cats such as tigers, pumas, leopards, cheetahs and lynx have shown that male cubs usually leave the area where they were born and wander in search of a territory.’
    • ‘Land mammals whose bones were excavated at Ogoloma include goats, cows, royal antelope, leopards, dogs, elephants, cats, and waterbuck.’
    • ‘In size and marking it looks very much like a leopard, although the jaguar is the much heavier animal, weighing up to 34 kg.’
    • ‘For example, all cats - lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards and housecats - belong to the family Felidae; all dogs belong to Canidae.’
    • ‘The easiest solution is to kill hyenas, jackals and leopards with poisoned carcasses.’
    • ‘Their principal enemy is the leopard, but even leopards will avoid an encounter with the larger, adult males who are courageous and vicious adversaries.’
    • ‘In addition to man, kudus are preyed upon by lions, leopards, and wild dogs.’
    • ‘The flood plains of the Brahmaputra are a refuge for tigers, leopards, sloth bears, elephants and 75% of the world's population of great Indian one-horned rhinos.’
    • ‘I have been filming for 14 years now, working with hyenas, leopards, and jackals.’
    • ‘Of all the big cats, the leopard is the most resourceful.’
    • ‘For instance, by choosing to hunt at a different place or time, coyotes avoid wolves, cheetahs avoid lions, and leopards avoid tigers.’
    1. 1.1Heraldry The spotted leopard as a heraldic device; also, a lion passant guardant as in the arms of England.
      • ‘After spending some time at Hertford, Johnny began to think there was not a more beautiful sight in the world than the quartered shield containing two panels of the red and gold leopards of England and two of the blue and gold lilies of France.’
    2. 1.2as modifier Spotted like a leopard.
      ‘a leopard-print outfit’
      • ‘Would those conservatively-dressed women have dared to step out in leopard print shoes had their mentor not worn them?’
      • ‘Dad, completely outraged, took pictures of Nick and I when were fourteen and twelve posing with leopard speedo bathing suits and taped them all over the house.’
      • ‘True, he'd stolen the high priest's leopard robe.’
      • ‘More famed for her fashion sense, which has included leopard print shoes, leather basques and all in one rubber bodysuits, than her policies, Theresa may benefit from being the only women in the leadership race.’
      • ‘Sassy barmaid Bet Lynch made a glitzy return to Coronation Street yesterday, dressed head to toe in leopard print.’
      • ‘Luckily, I can sit behind the drum kit in regular shorts or short pants, but the guys in front dress up in spandex and leather and leopard print.’
      • ‘Although zebra and leopard prints are not as popular as they were a few years ago, the animal theme is back in a different guise.’
      • ‘Some came in sweaters and leather jackets; others in their Sunday-best suits and leopard print shawls.’
      • ‘Then for her father she got a black day planner and some organizational stickers, and for Emily she got a planer that was covered in leopard print that said ‘cool’ in the middle of it.’
      • ‘Acceptable clothing, however, does not include ornately woven sandals, leopard patterns of any sort, and obscene souvenir T-shirts from vacations past.’
      • ‘It's painted matte black and has some artful pinstriping and faux leopard upholstery.’
      • ‘As he spoke, he was loading domestic beer and imported wine into his new SUV with silhouettes of skiers on the outside and fake leopard seat covers inside.’
      • ‘And her choice of leopard print is objectionable on every possible count of taste.’
      • ‘I mean, the two of them were wearing leopard print camisoles with matching panties!’
      • ‘For six lucky readers, we have two each of pink, denim and leopard beanbags.’
      • ‘The bed was covered in bedding with leopard print.’
      • ‘Decked in leopard print pants, he fixes his gaze on the back of the audience and proclaims he ‘wants a way out’.’
      • ‘They were pretty surprised, partly because they were leopard print but mostly because I'd been wearing them for three days.’
      • ‘But if I ever came across that catalogue again, and discovered that they were still selling leopard print kaftans, I'd be very happy indeed.’
      • ‘And knowing him, he probably wears silk boxers with leopard print.’


  • a leopard can't change his spots

    • proverb People can't change their basic nature.

      • ‘There are, of course, going to be a number of people who are going to say that if we was really serious, he would has said all this months ago, a leopard can't change his spots, etc.’


Middle English: via Old French from late Latin leopardus, from late Greek leopardos, from leōn ‘lion’ + pardos (see pard).