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[hip-oh] /ˈhɪp oʊ/
noun, plural hippos. Informal.
Origin of hippo
by shortening


[hip-oh] /ˈhɪp oʊ/


a combining form appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “horse” (hippodrome); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (hippology).
Also, especially before a vowel, hipp-.
< Greek: combining form of híppos; cognate with Latin equus, Old Irish ech, Old English eoh, Sanskrit aśvas, Lithuanian ašvà Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hippo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He's got a bent-in nose, an' a lop ear, an' a jaw like a hippo.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • What's the hippo's weight got to do with our going over the edge?

    Andiron Tales John Kendrick Bangs
  • And, as if this were not enough to complete the circus, the hippo and the rhino must get together.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • With a mighty upheaval, he shook off the hippo and charged on the lion.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • "Why, the evidence is all against you, hippo," returned his boatmate.

  • He then told about an exciting adventure they had with a hippo two nights before.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon
British Dictionary definitions for hippo


noun (informal) (pl) -pos
short for hippopotamus
(South African) an armoured police car
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 hippo

short for hippopotamus, attested from 1872.


before vowels, hipp-, word-forming element meaning "horse," from Greek hippo-, from hippos "horse," from PIE *ekwo- (see equine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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