Definition of nilgai in US English:



  • A large Indian antelope, the male of which has a blue-gray coat and short horns, and the female a tawny coat and no horns.

    Boselaphus tragocamelus, family Bovidae

    • ‘We also spotted the nilgai, the sambur, the wild boar and even a hare.’
    • ‘Mills has culled a great deal of data to show which ungulates form its preferred diet - chital, sambar, nilgai and barasingha, and in some forests, gaur.’
    • ‘If you feel you're missing out on watching tigers launch assaults on nilgai, or muggers ambushing chital as they bend down to drink, take heart.’
    • ‘When you see a nilgai, you don't tarry when letting off the shot.’
    • ‘Sadly, most of the large animals reported from the Ridge in the 1920s and 1930s have gone including leopard, wild boar, wolf, blackbuck, and most of the nilgais.’


Late 18th century: from Hindi nīlgāī, from nīl ‘blue’ + gāī ‘cow’.