Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[noo, nyoo] /nu, nyu/
noun, plural gnus (especially collectively) gnu.
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
1770-80; < 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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gnus
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for gnus


noun (pl) gnus, gnu
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gnus



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for gnus

Word Value for gnus

Scrabble Words With Friends