What does zebra mean?

Definitions for zebra
ˈzi brə; Brit. also ˈzɛb rəze·bra

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word zebra.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. zebranoun

    any of several fleet black-and-white striped African equines


  1. zebranoun

    an African animal, closely related to a horse, with black and white stripes

  2. zebranoun

    a referee

  3. zebranoun

    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.")

  4. zebranoun

    a bi-racial person, specifically one born to a member of the Sub-Saharan African race and a Caucasian.

  5. Etymology: From the Congolese word for the animal (possibly meaning striped) via Old Portuguese zevra.


  1. Zebra

    Zebras (US: , UK: ) (subgenus Hippotigris) are African equines with distinctive black-and-white striped coats. There are three living species: the Grévy's zebra (Equus grevyi), plains zebra (E. quagga), and the mountain zebra (E. zebra). Zebras share the genus Equus with horses and asses, the three groups being the only living members of the family Equidae. Zebra stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. Several theories have been proposed for the function of these stripes, with most evidence supporting them as a deterrent for biting flies. Zebras inhabit eastern and southern Africa and can be found in a variety of habitats such as savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, shrublands, and mountainous areas. Zebras are primarily grazers and can subsist on lower-quality vegetation. They are preyed on mainly by lions, and typically flee when threatened but also bite and kick. Zebra species differ in social behaviour, with plains and mountain zebra living in stable harems consisting of an adult male or stallion, several adult females or mares, and their young or foals; while Grévy's zebra live alone or in loosely associated herds. In harem-holding species, adult females mate only with their harem stallion, while male Grévy's zebras establish territories which attract females and the species is promiscuous. Zebras communicate with various vocalisations, body postures and facial expressions. Social grooming strengthens social bonds in plains and mountain zebras. Zebras' dazzling stripes make them among the most recognisable mammals. They have been featured in art and stories in Africa and beyond. Historically, they have been highly sought after by exotic animal collectors, but unlike horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Grévy's zebra as endangered, the mountain zebra as vulnerable and the plains zebra as near-threatened. The quagga (E. quagga quagga), a type of plains zebra, was driven to extinction in the 19th century. Nevertheless, zebras can be found in numerous protected areas.


  1. zebra

    A zebra is a large, wild herbivore mammal that is native to Africa. It is known for its black and white striped coat which is unique to each individual. Zebras are a part of the Equidae family, which also includes horses and donkeys. They are social animals, living in herds and are primarily grazers, with a diet mainly consisting of grasses. There are several different species of zebras, including the plains zebra, mountain zebra, and Grevy's zebra.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Zebranoun

    either one of two species of South African wild horses remarkable for having the body white or yellowish white, and conspicuously marked with dark brown or brackish bands

  2. Etymology: [Pg. zebra; cf. Sp. cebra; probably from a native African name.]


  1. Zebra

    Zebras are several species of African equids united by their distinctive black and white stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and asses, zebras have never been truly domesticated. There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy's zebra and the mountain zebra. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grévy's zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass, to which it is closely related, while the former two are more horse-like. All three belong to the genus Equus, along with other living equids. The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have had a severe impact on zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction. Grévy's zebra and the mountain zebra are endangered. While plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, became extinct in the late 19th century – though there is currently a plan, called the Quagga Project, that aims to breed zebras that are phenotypically similar to the quagga in a process called breeding back.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Zebra

    zē′bra, n. a generic name given to the group of striped Equidæ—all of which are peculiar to the African continent—and thus including the Dauw or Burchell's Zebra, the Quagga, and the true or Mountain Zebra.—n. Zē′bra-wood, the hard and beautifully striped wood of a Guiana tree.—adj. Zē′brine, like the zebra. [Of African origin.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. ZEBRA

    The crook among horses, condemned to wear stripes for life.

Editors Contribution

  1. zebra

    A type of animal.

    Most zebra have a black and white pattern, some species have a cream and white pattern.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 11, 2016  

Suggested Resources

  1. zebra

    Song lyrics by zebra -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by zebra on the Lyrics.com website.

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How to pronounce zebra?

How to say zebra in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of zebra in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of zebra in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of zebra in a Sentence

  1. Brothers Johnson:

    When I went to the session with 'Billie Jean,' I took like 10 basses and I lined 'em up. I'd say, 'Michael, pick one,' he'd pick one with the zebra wood on it. It had 12 different kinds of wood, different layers. It was dark brown and tan and light-colored, and it looked like a tiger or a zebra. Michael picked it because it sounded good. I hot-rodded it. I beefed it up and put extra magnets underneath the pickups. I did all the things I knew how to do to get the best sound. That's how come the bass sounded like that.

  2. Susan Michie:

    Think about it as road safety -- we have to do our own risk assessment when crossing the road, for example, do we always cross the road just on the traffic lights or on zebra crossings, or do we occasionally cross it elsewhere ? If we do, we probably consider several things, such as how far away are the cars, what speed are they traveling at, are the roads wet, how agile am I ?

  3. Ren Larison:

    Zebra have a need to keep foraging throughout the day, which keeps them out in the open more of the time than other animals, an additional cooling mechanism could be very useful under these circumstances.

  4. Mohammed Sultan:

    The zebra is real and not painted.

  5. Shannan Edwards:

    I try to outdo myself every year, the best thing is stopping for gas wearing a crazy outfit. If you're wearing a lime-green zebra-striped suit in the middle of the afternoon, people are going to ask questions.

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"zebra." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/zebra>.

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    come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort
    A suffuse
    B descant
    C excogitate
    D abrade

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