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[lep-erd] /ˈlɛp ərd/
a large, spotted Asian or African carnivore, Panthera pardus, of the cat family, usually tawny with black markings; the Old World panther: all leopard populations are threatened or endangered.
the fur or pelt of this animal.
any of various related cats resembling this animal.
Heraldry. a lion represented from the side as walking, usually with one forepaw raised, and looking toward the spectator.
  1. an Anglo-Gallic gold coin issued by Edward III, equal to half a florin, bearing the figure of a leopard.
  2. a silver Anglo-Gallic coin issued by Henry V.
(initial capital letter) Military. a 42-ton (38-metric ton) West German tank with a 105mm gun.
Origin of leopard
1250-1300; Middle English < Late Latin leōpardus < Greek leópardos, syncopated variant of leontópardos, equivalent to leonto- (stem of léōn) lion + párdos pard1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for leopard
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A leopard crouching before her on a limb could not have seemed more pitiless, more terrible.

  • Like Samson, the leopard had brought destruction upon itself!

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • The soko sometimes kills the leopard by seizing both paws and biting them, but often gets disemboweled in the attempt.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
  • The leopard answered the report of the gun by making a somersault to the earth.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Step a little closer, ladies and gentlemen, and view the leopard boy.

    Tom Slade at Temple Camp Percy K. Fitzhugh
British Dictionary definitions for leopard


Also called panther. a large feline mammal, Panthera pardus, of forests of Africa and Asia, usually having a tawny yellow coat with black rosette-like spots
any of several similar felines, such as the snow leopard and cheetah
clouded leopard, a feline, Neofelis nebulosa, of SE Asia and Indonesia with a yellowish-brown coat marked with darker spots and blotches
(heraldry) a stylized leopard, painted as a lion with the face turned towards the front
the pelt of a leopard
Derived Forms
leopardess, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C13: from Old French lepart, from Late Latin leōpardus, from Late Greek leópardos, from leōn lion + pardospard² (the leopard was thought at one time to be the result of cross-breeding)
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 leopard

late 13c., from Old French lebard, leupart (12c., Modern French léopard), from Late Latin leopardus, literally "lion-pard," from Greek leopardos, from leon "lion" + pardos "male panther," which generally is said to be connected to Sanskrit prdakuh "panther, tiger." The animal was thought in ancient times to be a hybrid of these two species.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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