noun, plural hip·pos. Informal.

Origin of hippo

by shortening





a combining form appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “horse” (hippodrome); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (hippology).
Also especially before a vowel, hipp-.

Origin of hippo-

< Greek: combining form of híppos; cognate with Latin equus, Old Irish ech, Old English eoh, Sanskrit aśvas, Lithuanian ašvà
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hippo

Contemporary Examples of hippo

Historical Examples of hippo

  • He's got a bent-in nose, an' a lop ear, an' a jaw like a hippo.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • What's the Hippo's weight got to do with our going over the edge?

    Andiron Tales

    John Kendrick Bangs

  • And, as if this were not enough to complete the circus, the hippo and the rhino must get together.

    The Grain Ship

    Morgan Robertson

  • With a mighty upheaval, he shook off the hippo and charged on the lion.

    The Grain Ship

    Morgan Robertson

  • "Why, the evidence is all against you, Hippo," returned his boatmate.

British Dictionary definitions for hippo


noun plural -pos informal

short for hippopotamus
Southern African an armoured police car
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 hippo

short for hippopotamus, attested from 1872.


before vowels, hipp-, word-forming element meaning "horse," from Greek hippo-, from hippos "horse," from PIE *ekwo- (see equine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper