[hahr-tuh-beest, hahrt-beest]

noun, plural har·te·beests, (especially collectively) har·te·beest.

any large African antelope of the genus Alcelaphus, having ringed horns that curve backward: some species are endangered.
any of several related African antelopes, as certain species of the genus Damaliscus.

Origin of hartebeest

From Afrikaans, dating back to 1780–90; see origin at hart, beast
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hartebeest

Historical Examples of hartebeest

  • They are very fond of hartebeest, zebra, rhino, and especially hippo.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon

  • "Cokei" is the name given the hartebeest discovered by Coke, and so on.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon

  • Great numbers of Coke's hartebeest watched us with humorous interest.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon

  • They commence with a section or sub-family of which the type is the Hartebeest.

  • "Hartebeest, bushbuck and antelope," replied the explorer calmly.

British Dictionary definitions for hartebeest


hartbeest (ˈhɑːtˌbiːst)


either of two large African antelopes, Alcelaphus buselaphus or A. lichtensteini, having an elongated muzzle, lyre-shaped horns, and a fawn-coloured coat
any similar and related animal, such as Damaliscus hunteri (Hunter's hartebeest)

Word Origin for hartebeest

C18: via Afrikaans from Dutch; see hart, beast
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 hartebeest

1786, from Afrikaans, from Dutch hertebeest "antelope," from hert "hart" (see hart) + beest "beast, ox" (in S.African Dutch "steer, cattle"), from Middle Dutch beeste, from Old French beste "beast" (see beast).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper