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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Zebra \Ze"bra\, n. [Pg. zebra; cf. Sp. cebra; probably from a native African name.] (Zo["o]l.) Any member of three species of African wild horses remarkable for having the body white or yellowish white, and conspicuously marked with dark brown or brackish bands.

Note: The true or mountain zebra ( Equus zebra syn. Asinus zebra) is nearly white, and the bands which cover the body and legs are glossy black. Its tail has a tuft of black hair at the tip. It inhabits the mountains of Central and Southern Africa, and is noted for its wariness and wildness, as well as for its swiftness. The second species ( Equus Burchellii syn. Asinus Burchellii or Equus quagga), known as Burchell's zebra, plains zebra, and dauw, is the most abundant, inhabiting the grassy plains of tropical and southern Africa, and differing from the preceding in not having dark bands on the legs, while those on the body are more irregular. It has a long tail, covered with long white flowing hair. Grevy's zebra ( Equus grevyi) is distinct from the others in being placed in the subgenus Dolichohippus, whereas the plains and mountain zebras are placed in the subgenus Hippotigris. More on zebras can be found at:

Zebra caterpillar, the larva of an American noctuid moth ( Mamestra picta). It is light yellow, with a broad black stripe on the back and one on each side; the lateral stripes are crossed with withe lines. It feeds on cabbages, beets, clover, and other cultivated plants.

Zebra opossum, the zebra wolf. See under Wolf.

Zebra parrakeet, an Australian grass parrakeet, often kept as a cage bird. Its upper parts are mostly pale greenish yellow, transversely barred with brownish black crescents; the under parts, rump, and upper tail coverts, are bright green; two central tail feathers and the cheek patches are blue. Called also canary parrot, scallop parrot, shell parrot, and undulated parrot.

Zebra poison (Bot.), a poisonous tree ( Euphorbia arborea) of the Spurge family, found in South Africa. Its milky juice is so poisonous that zebras have been killed by drinking water in which its branches had been placed, and it is also used as an arrow poison.
--J. Smith (Dict. Econ. Plants).

Zebra shark. Same as Tiger shark, under Tiger.

Zebra spider, a hunting spider.

Zebra swallowtail, a very large North American swallow-tailed butterfly ( Iphiclides ajax), in which the wings are yellow, barred with black; -- called also ajax.

Zebra wolf. See under Wolf.


n. The striped quagga, or Burchell's zebra, of South Africa (''Asinus burchellii'').

Usage examples of "dauw".

Daarachter dommelde de Maliebaan weg, uitgewischt in schaduw, met een vochtig gaas van grijzen dauw, recht oprijzende in hare vlakte.

In connection with the horses it is worthy of notice that the quagga zebra, which never comes together with the dauw zebra, nevertheless lives on excellent terms, not only with ostriches, which are very good sentries, but also with gazelles, several species of antelopes, and gnus.

We thus have a case of mutual dislike between the quagga and the dauw which cannot be explained by competition for food.