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gnu

[noo, nyoo] /nu, nyu/
noun, plural gnus (especially collectively) gnu.
1.
either of two stocky, oxlike antelopes of the genus Connochaetes, the silver-gray, white-bearded C. taurinus of the eastern African plain and the black, white-tailed C. gnou of central South Africa: recently near extinction, the South African gnu is now protected.
Also called wildebeest.
Origin of gnu
1770-1780
1770-80; < Khoikhoi, first recorded as t’gnu; probably to be identified with ǂnû black, as applying orig. to the black wildebeest
Can be confused
gnu, knew, new.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gnu
Historical Examples
  • gnu is from the Hottentots, and giraffe from the Arabic zaraf.

    The Log of the Sun William Beebe
  • The lads rushed forward, eager to obtain some of the flesh of the gnu.

    Hendricks the Hunter W.H.G. Kingston
  • So that altogether the gnu cannot be considered as a handsome animal!

  • Suddenly he touches one with the gnu's tail which he carries in his hand.

  • By the by, did you know that Mrs. gnu had actually bought the blue velvet?

    The Potiphar Papers George William Curtis
  • As he said this he looked fixedly at Mrs. gnu, and there was not quite so much laughing.

    The Potiphar Papers George William Curtis
  • But Mrs. gnu continued to be like Rachel, and Mr. Boosey continued to try to amuse her.

    The Potiphar Papers George William Curtis
  • Well, Mrs. gnu, upon my honor, it is no epicure to try to console you.

    The Potiphar Papers George William Curtis
  • Mrs. gnu declined: but I knew mamma would let me go with the Potiphars.

    The Potiphar Papers George William Curtis
  • For instance, there's the animal that has been called the gnu.

    Animal Children Edith Brown Kirkwood
British Dictionary definitions for gnu

gnu

/nuː/
noun (pl) gnus, gnu
1.
either of two sturdy antelopes, Connochaetes taurinus (brindled gnu) or the much rarer C. gnou (white-tailed gnu), inhabiting the savannas of Africa, having an oxlike head and a long tufted tail Also called wildebeest
Word Origin
C18: from Xhosa nqu
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 gnu
n.

1777, gnoo, from Dutch gnoe, used by German traveler Georg Forster (1754-1794) to render Hottentot i-ngu "wildebeest," from Southern Bushman !nu: (in which ! and : represent clicks).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for gnu

4
7
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