Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[kwag-uh, kwog-uh] /ˈkwæg ə, ˈkwɒg ə/
an extinct equine mammal, Equus quagga, of southern Africa, related to and resembling the zebra, but striped only on the forepart of the body and the head.
Origin of quagga
1775-85; < Afrikaans (now spelling kwagga) < Khoikhoi, first recorded as quácha (1691); said to be imitative of the animal's yelp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for quagga
Historical Examples
  • It would have taken a springbok to have leaped out of it; and no quagga could possibly have cleared itself from such a pit.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • In vain the quagga tried to get out by the most desperate efforts.

    Adventures in Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • He was curious moreover, to find out whether his own quagga was quite equal to any of its old companions.

  • No; the big, solid-hoofed antelope that eats like nylghau or quagga.

    Charge! George Manville Fenn
  • Their colour is bay, marked more or less like the quagga in a darker tint.

    Homo-culture Martin Luther Holbrook
  • Hendrik's eye was upon him; and in a moment the quagga was turned upon his track.

  • The quagga and striped quagga, as you may see, have the ears of a horse, while the zebra has those of the ass.

    The Mission; or Scenes in Africa Captain Frederick Marryat
  • Was he jealous about his quagga's speed, and determined it should beat all the others?

  • As I spoke the quagga turned his head and very nearly caught him by the arm.

    Adventures in Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • quagga trembled like an aspen, and did not dare lift his eyes from the book.

    Lady Eureka, v. 1 (of 3) Robert Folkestone Williams
British Dictionary definitions for quagga


noun (pl) -gas, -ga
a recently extinct member of the horse family (Equidae), Equus quagga, of southern Africa: it had a sandy brown colouring with zebra-like stripes on the head and shoulders
Word Origin
C18: from obsolete Afrikaans, from Khoikhoi qǔagga; compare Xhosa i-qwara something striped
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 quagga

zebra-like South African animal, 1785, from Afrikaans (1710), from the name for the beast in a native language, perhaps Hottentot quacha, probably of imitative origin. In modern Xhosa, the form is iqwara, with a clicking -q-. What was likely the last one died in an Amsterdam zoo in 1883.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for quagga

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for quagga

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for quagga