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zebra

[zee-bruh; British also zeb-ruh]
noun, plural zebras (especially collectively) zebra.
1.
any of several horselike African mammals of the genus Equus, each species having a characteristic pattern of black or dark-brown stripes on a whitish background: all zebra species are threatened or endangered.
2.
Also called zebra butterfly. a tropical butterfly, Heliconius charithonius, having black wings barred with yellow.
3.
(initial capital letter) a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter Z.
4.
Football Slang. an official, who usually wears a black and white striped shirt.

Origin:
1590–1600; 1975–80 for def 4; < Portuguese zebra, zebro the Iberian wild ass (Spanish cebra), perhaps < Latin equiferus (Pliny) kind of wild horse, equivalent to equi- (combining form of equus horse) + ferus wild

zebralike, zebraic [zi-brey-ik] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
zebra (ˈziːbrə, ˈzɛbrə)
 
n , pl -ras, -ra
any of several mammals of the horse family (Equidae), such as Equus burchelli (the common zebra), of southern and eastern Africa, having distinctive black-and-white striped hides
 
[C16: via Italian from Old Spanish: wild ass, probably from Vulgar Latin eciferus (unattested) wild horse, from Latin equiferus, from equus horse + ferus wild]
 
'zebra-like
 
adj
 
zebraic
 
adj
 
zebrine
 
adj
 
'zebroid
 
adj

Zebra (ˈziːbrə, ˈzɛbrə)
 
n
Compare zero a noninterest-paying bond in which the accrued income is taxed annually rather than on redemption
 
[C20: from zero-coupon bond]

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

zebra
1600, from It. zebra, perhaps from Port., earlier applied to a now-extinct wild ass, said to be Congolese [OED], or Amharic [Klein], but perhaps ult. from L. equiferus "wild horse," from equus "horse" + ferus (see fierce).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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