[juh-raf or, esp. British, -rahf]
a tall, long-necked, spotted ruminant, Giraffa camelopardalis, of Africa: the tallest living quadruped animal.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Camelopardalis.

1585–95; < French girafe < Italian giraffa < dialectal Arabic zirāfah, perhaps < Persian zurnāpā Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
giraffe (dʒɪˈrɑːf, -ˈræf)
n , pl -raffes, -raffe
a large ruminant mammal, Giraffa camelopardalis, inhabiting savannas of tropical Africa: the tallest mammal, with very long legs and neck and a colouring of regular reddish-brown patches on a beige ground: family Giraffidae
[C17: from Italian giraffa, from Arabic zarāfah, probably of African origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1594, from It. giraffa, from Ar. zarafa, probably from an African language. Earlier M.E. spellings varied wildly, depending on the source, including jarraf, ziraph, and gerfauntz, the last apparently reflecting some confusion with olifaunt "elephant." Replaced earlier camelopard, a compound of
camel (for the long neck) and pard (1) "leopard" (for the spots).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Stunning footage of giraffe framed by a beautiful sunset.
Some pterosaurs, on the other hand, were the size of a giraffe.
The project has, so far, led to a mechanical giraffe and an elephant.
As with many extant large mammals, though, the giraffe is only a vestige of a
  once more diverse group.
Images for giraffe
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