from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several swift, wild, horselike African mammals of the genus Equus, having distinctive overall markings of alternating white and black or brown stripes.
  • n. Any of various striped organisms, such as the zebra butterfly.
  • n. A referee in football.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An African animal, closely related to a horse, with black and white stripes.
  • n. A referee.
  • n. 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.")
  • n. A bi-racial person, specifically one born to a member of the Sub-Saharan African race and a Caucasian.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any member of three species of African wild horses remarkable for having the body white or yellowish white, and conspicuously marked with dark brown or brackish bands.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An African solidungulate mammal, related to the horse and ass, of the genus Equus and subgenus Hippotigris, having the body more or less completely striped.
  • Resembling the stripes of a zebra; having stripes running along the sides: as, the zebra markings on certain spiders.
  • n. A name used by fish-culturists in England for hybrids between Salmo fario, the European trout, and Salmo fontinalis, the American brook-trout.
  • n. An American heliconiid butterfly, Apostraphia charithonia, with black, yellow-banded wings. It occurs in Central America, the West Indies, and the southern United States. Its larvæ feed on the passion-flower vine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several fleet black-and-white striped African equines


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Italian, from Old Portuguese zevro, zevra, wild ass. Sense 3, from the referee's striped shirt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Congolese word for the animal (possibly meaning striped) via Old Portuguese zevra. This etymology is disputed.



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