[ zee-byoo, -boo ]

  1. one of a domesticated form of cattle, Bos taurus indicus, of India, having a large hump over the shoulders and a large dewlap.

Origin of zebu

First recorded in 1765–75, zebu is from the French word zébu, of obscure origin

Words Nearby zebu

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use zebu in a sentence

  • The small ox of Belon which we have seen, and call by the name of zebu, is no more than a variety in the species of the ox.

    Buffon's Natural History. Volume VIII (of 10) | Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon
  • The little zebu of Arabia is not more than a tenth part the size of the bull-elephant.

    Buffon's Natural History. Volume IX (of 10) | Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon
  • The Brahmins esteem the zebu a sacred animal; and for this reason it has received the name of the Brahmin ox.

  • The zebu is an animal of the cow kind, and a native of India, and on that account is often called the Indian ox.

  • Well, then, the zebu would come and live near the sandbank too—just so far as the crocodile would never see him.

    Danger! and Other Stories | Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for zebu


/ (ˈziːbuː) /

  1. a domesticated ox, Bos indicus, having a humped back, long horns, and a large dewlap: used in India and E Asia as a draught animal

Origin of zebu

C18: from French zébu, perhaps of Tibetan origin

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