or nyl·ghai, nyl·ghau

[ nil-gahy ]
/ ˈnɪl gaɪ /

noun, plural nil·gais, (especially collectively) nil·gai.

a large, Indian antelope, Boselaphus tragocamelus, the male of which is bluish gray with small horns, the female tawny and hornless.

Origin of nilgai

First recorded in 1880–85, nilgai is from the Hindi word nīlgāy literally, blue cow
Also called blue bull. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nilgai

  • We are not like Antelope or Nilgai, who go without water for days and days.

    The Sa'-Zada Tales|William Alexander Fraser
  • For example, the castrated Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) acquires horns, but not the characteristic male colour.

    The Making of Species|Douglas Dewar

British Dictionary definitions for nilgai


nilghau or nylghau (ˈnɪlɡɔː)

/ (ˈnɪlɡaɪ) /

noun plural -gai, -gais, -ghau or -ghaus

a large Indian antelope, Boselaphus tragocamelus. The male is blue-grey with white markings and has small horns; the female is brownish and has no horns

Word Origin for nilgai

C19: from Hindi nīlgāw blue bull, from Sanskrit nīla dark blue + go bull
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