[ noo, nyoo ]
/ nu, nyu /
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noun, plural gnus, (especially collectively) gnu.
either of two stocky, oxlike antelopes of the genus Connochaetes, the silver-gray, white-bearded C. taurinus of the eastern African plain and the black, white-tailed C. gnou of central South Africa: recently near extinction, the South African gnu is now protected.
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Also called wildebeest.
Origin of gnu
1770–80; <Khoikhoi, first recorded as t’gnu; probably to be identified with ǂnû black, as applying originally to the black wildebeest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use gnu in a sentence
Gnus are here unknown, and these animals may live to old age if not beguiled into pitfalls.
Two kinds of gnus are known, both of which are found in Southern and Eastern Africa.The Animal World, A Book of Natural History|Theodore Wood
The quaggas and gnus, however, soon after separated, going off in different directions.Hendricks the Hunter|W.H.G. Kingston
Herds of gnus and bontebok bounded over the plains, and many solitary antelopes started from their lairs as he approached them.Adventures of Hans Sterk|A.W. Drayson
Gnus and zebras contemplate the strange intruder with an air of surprise.The Desert World|Arthur Mangin
British Dictionary definitions for gnu
/ (nuː) /
noun plural gnus or gnu
either of two sturdy antelopes, Connochaetes taurinus (brindled gnu) or the much rarer C. gnou (white-tailed gnu), inhabiting the savannas of Africa, having an oxlike head and a long tufted tailAlso called: wildebeest
Word Origin for gnu
C18: from Xhosa nqu
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