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[kwag-uh, kwog-uh] /ˈkwæg ə, ˈkwɒg ə/
an extinct equine mammal, Equus quagga, of southern Africa, related to and resembling the zebra, but striped only on the forepart of the body and the head.
Origin of quagga
1775-85; < Afrikaans (now spelling kwagga) < Khoikhoi, first recorded as quácha (1691); said to be imitative of the animal's yelp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quagga
  • Invasive quagga and zebra mussels are a major threat to our quality of life.
  • When quagga and zebra mussels invade local waters they clog power plant and public water intakes and pipes.
  • Bill to help fight against quagga mussels and non-native weeds that fuel wildfires.
  • Diagram showing locations on boat to check for quagga mussel infestation quagga mussels.
  • The quagga mussel consumes significant amounts of phytoplankton disrupting the ecological balance of entire bodies of water.
  • Invasive quagga mussels causing food web disruptions.
British Dictionary definitions for quagga


noun (pl) -gas, -ga
a recently extinct member of the horse family (Equidae), Equus quagga, of southern Africa: it had a sandy brown colouring with zebra-like stripes on the head and shoulders
Word Origin
C18: from obsolete Afrikaans, from Khoikhoi qǔagga; compare Xhosa i-qwara something striped
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 quagga

zebra-like South African animal, 1785, from Afrikaans (1710), from the name for the beast in a native language, perhaps Hottentot quacha, probably of imitative origin. In modern Xhosa, the form is iqwara, with a clicking -q-. What was likely the last one died in an Amsterdam zoo in 1883.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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