• synonyms


[kwag-uh, kwog-uh]
  1. an extinct equine mammal, Equus quagga, of southern Africa, related to and resembling the zebra, but striped only on the forepart of the body and the head.
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Origin of quagga

1775–85; < Afrikaans (now spelling kwagga) < Khoikhoi, first recorded as quácha (1691); said to be imitative of the animal's yelp
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for quagga

Historical Examples of quagga

  • After that he concluded to remain content with his quagga team.

    Harper's Young People, August 31, 1880


  • There were two kinds of zebra, a quagga, and a buffalo, both huge and dangerous.

  • Even the quagga is so banded upon the head and upper parts of its body.

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • But, to his astonishment, he found that his quagga did not share his intention.

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • He must fling himself to the ground, and let quagga and saddle go.

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for quagga


noun plural -gas or -ga
  1. a recently extinct member of the horse family (Equidae), Equus quagga, of southern Africa: it had a sandy brown colouring with zebra-like stripes on the head and shoulders
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Word Origin for quagga

C18: from obsolete Afrikaans, from Khoikhoi qǔagga; compare Xhosa i-qwara something striped
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 quagga


zebra-like South African animal, 1785, from Afrikaans (1710), from the name for the beast in a native language, perhaps Hottentot quacha, probably of imitative origin. In modern Xhosa, the form is iqwara, with a clicking -q-. What was likely the last one died in an Amsterdam zoo in 1883.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper