[juh-raf or, esp. British, -rahf] /dʒəˈræf or, esp. British, -ˈrɑf/
a tall, long-necked, spotted ruminant, Giraffa camelopardalis, of Africa: the tallest living quadruped animal.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Camelopardalis.
noun (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
1590s, giraffa, from Italian giraffa, from Arabic zarafa, probably from an African language. Earlier Middle English spellings varied wildly, depending on the source, including jarraf, ziraph, and gerfauntz, some apparently directly from Arabic, the last reflecting some confusion with olifaunt “elephant.”
In Arabye, þei ben clept Gerfauntz; þat is a best pomelee or spotted .. but a lityll more high þan is a stede, But he hath the necke a xxti cubytes long. [Mandeville’s Travels, c.1425]
The modern form of the English word is attested by c.1600 and is via French girafe. Replaced earlier camelopard, a compound of camel (for the long neck) and pard (n.1) “leopard” (for the spots).
- Giraldus cambrensis
/dʒɪˈrældəs kæmˈbrɛnsɪs/ noun 1. literary name of Gerald de Barri. ?1146–?1223, Welsh chronicler and churchman, noted for his accounts of his travels in Ireland and Wales
[juh-rahrd] /dʒəˈrɑrd/ noun 1. Stephen, 1750–1831, U.S. merchant, banker, and philanthropist, born in France. 2. a city in NE Ohio.
[jir-uh n-dohl] /ˈdʒɪr ənˌdoʊl/ noun 1. a rotating and radiating firework. 2. an ornate bracket for candelabra or the like, sometimes with a reflecting mirror at the back of the shelf. 3. a brooch or earring consisting of a central ornament with usually three smaller ornaments hanging from it. /ˈdʒɪrənˌdəʊl/ noun 1. an ornamental branched […]
[jir-uh-sawl, -sol] /ˈdʒɪr əˌsɔl, -ˌsɒl/ noun 1. an opal that reflects light in a bright luminous glow. 2. (def 1). adjective 3. (of a stone) translucent and bluish-white with reddish reflections under strong light; opalescent. /ˈdʒɪrəˌsɒl; -ˌsəʊl/ noun 1. a type of opal that has a red or pink glow in bright light; fire opal