a cat, Acinonyx jubatus, of southwestern Asia and Africa, resembling a leopard but having certain doglike characteristics, often trained for hunting deer, antelope, etc.: an endangered species.

Origin of cheetah

1695–1705; < Hindi cītā < Sanskrit citraka leopard; compare Pali cittaka, Prakrit cittaya Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cheetah

Contemporary Examples of cheetah

Historical Examples of cheetah

  • The42 force with which the cheetah strikes his victim is marvellous.

    The Last Voyage

    Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

  • I think that I mentioned to you that the doctor kept a cheetah and a baboon.

  • There was a cheetah, too; perhaps we might find it upon our shoulders at any moment.

  • It infests the small intestines, and is found alike in the fox, wolf, and cheetah.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • This is the Felis uncia, allied to the panther and the cheetah.

    Milton's Comus

    John Milton

British Dictionary definitions for cheetah




a large feline mammal, Acinonyx jubatus, of Africa and SW Asia: the swiftest mammal, having very long legs, nonretractile claws, and a black-spotted light-brown coat

Word Origin for cheetah

C18: from Hindi cītā, from Sanskrit citrakāya tiger, from citra bright, speckled + kāya body
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 cheetah

1704, from Hindi chita "leopard," from Sanskrit chitraka "hunting leopard, tiger," literally "speckled," from chitra-s "distinctively marked, variegated, many-colored, bright, clear" (from PIE *kit-ro-, from root *(s)kai- (1) "bright, shining;" see shine (v.)) + kayah "body," from PIE *kwei- "to build, make" (see poet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper