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[chee-tuh] /ˈtʃi tə/
a cat, Acinonyx jubatus, of southwestern Asia and Africa, resembling a leopard but having certain doglike characteristics, often trained for hunting deer, antelope, etc.: an endangered species.
Origin of cheetah
1695-1705; < Hindi cītā < Sanskrit citraka leopard; compare Pali cittaka, Prakrit cittaya Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cheetah
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What is called a leopard, or a cheetah, in Ceylon, is in reality the true panther.

  • The42 force with which the cheetah strikes his victim is marvellous.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • I had secured a wonderful eland and a very fine impalla, and we had had a gorgeous close-quarters fight with a cheetah.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
  • I think that I mentioned to you that the doctor kept a cheetah and a baboon.

  • Well, a cheetah is just a big cat, and yet a saucer of milk does not go very far in satisfying its wants, I daresay.

  • This is the Felis uncia, allied to the panther and the cheetah.

    Milton's Comus John Milton
  • His companions quickly cut up the cheetah as we had done the deer, and divided the flesh among them.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • Thus the elephant, the cheetah and the falcon in the East came under royal protection.

British Dictionary definitions for cheetah


a large feline mammal, Acinonyx jubatus, of Africa and SW Asia: the swiftest mammal, having very long legs, nonretractile claws, and a black-spotted light-brown coat
Word Origin
C18: from Hindi cītā, from Sanskrit citrakāya tiger, from citra bright, speckled + kāya body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cheetah

1704, from Hindi chita "leopard," from Sanskrit chitraka "hunting leopard, tiger," literally "speckled," from chitra-s "distinctively marked, variegated, many-colored, bright, clear" (from PIE *kit-ro-, from root *(s)kai- (1) "bright, shining;" see shine (v.)) + kayah "body," from PIE *kwei- "to build, make" (see poet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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