[wil-duh-beest, vil-]

noun, plural wil·de·beests, (especially collectively) wil·de·beest.

Origin of wildebeest

1830–40; < Afrikaans wildebees < Dutch wildebeest, equivalent to wild wild + beest beast
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wildebeest

Contemporary Examples of wildebeest

Historical Examples of wildebeest

  • What could there be in my wiping my face to provoke the wildebeest anew?

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • If I leaped down, the wildebeest would kill me to a certainty.

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • My first shot in Africa was at a wildebeest at three hundred yards.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon

  • The Kaffir had shot a wildebeest, he said, but he had come to assist them in disposing of theirs.

    Hendricks the Hunter

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Hence their trivial names of “blauw” wildebeest and “brindled” gnoo.

British Dictionary definitions for wildebeest


noun plural -beests or -beest

another name for gnu

Word Origin for wildebeest

C19: from Afrikaans, literally: wild 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 wildebeest

1838, from S. African Dutch (in modern Afrikaans wildebees, plural wildebeeste), literally "wild beast," from Dutch wild "wild" (see wild (adj.)) + 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