[ kar-uh-boo ]
/ ˈkær əˌbu /

noun, plural car·i·bous, (especially collectively) car·i·bou.

any of several large, North American deer of the genus Rangifer, related to the reindeer of the Old World.

Nearby words

  1. caribbees,
  2. caribe,
  3. caribees,
  4. cariboo,
  5. cariboo mountains,
  6. caribou inuit,
  7. caribs,
  8. caricature,
  9. caricature plant,
  10. caricaturist

Origin of caribou

1665–75, Americanism; < Canadian French caribou, replacing earlier English caribo, both < Micmac γalipu derivative (agent noun) of γalipi- shovel snow < Proto-Algonquian *maka·lipi-; called the snow-shoveler from its habit of scraping aside snow with its front hoofs in search of food Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for caribou

British Dictionary definitions for caribou


/ (ˈkærɪˌbuː) /

noun plural -bou or -bous

a large deer, Rangifer tarandus, of Arctic regions of North America, having large branched antlers in the male and female: also occurs in Europe and Asia, where it is called a reindeerAlso called (Canadian): tuktu

Word Origin for caribou

C18: from Canadian French, of Algonquian origin; compare Micmac khalibu literally: scratcher


/ (ˈkærɪˌbuː) /


Canadian a mixed drink containing wine and grain alcohol
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

Word Origin and History for caribou



also cariboo, 1660s, from Canadian French caribou, from Micmac (Algonquian) kaleboo or a related Algonquian name, literally "pawer, scratcher," from its kicking snow aside to feed on moss and grass.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper