hartebeest, noun

Forms:
haartebeest, hartbeesShow more Also haartebeest, hartbees, hartbeest, hartebees, hartebeeste, hartibeest.
Plurals:
unchanged, hartebeests, or hartebeeste /ˈhɑːtəˌbɪəstə/.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, from Dutch hart (variant of hert) hart + linking phoneme -e- + beest beast, animal; see quotation 1786.
a. A name applied to any of several antelope of the genera Damaliscus, Sigmoceros, and Alcephalus of the Bovidae, especially the red hartebeest and the Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (see sense b below); hartebeast sense a. Also attributive. See also tsessebe.
[1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 129The two largest sorts of antilopa or gazels..are called by the Dutch, hartbeest and Bunteboks; the former name, which signifies hart-beast, was probably given to the former of these creatures on account of some resemblance they showed in colour to the harts of Europe.]
[1790 W. Paterson Narr. of Four Journeys 81A species of Antelope, called by the Dutch, Hartebeest, which is the Capra Dorcas of Linnaeus.]
1821 S. Afr. Jrnl (1824) I. i. 18The countless herds of springboks, hartebeests..and other large game, described by former travellers as..adding so much life and beauty to the lonely landscape of Albany, have..almost totally disappeared.
1846 T. Pringle in R. Moffat Missionary Labours 89The hartebeest is one of the finest animals of the antelope family; it is fleet, and graceful in its gait.
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 62The hartebeest..: male five feet high, and nine in extreme length..; colour bright sienna, with a red shade, black stripes down the back of the neck, on the fore-leg and on the hind-leg.
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 245The hartebeest, Alcelaphus caama, is one of the fleetest and longest-winded of South African antelopes.
1914 W.C. Scully Lodges in WildernessThe ungainly hartebeest lumbered away..at a pace which made pursuit hopeless.
1948 A.C. White Call of Bushveld 149The sessaby..certainly is a branch of the hartebeest species — horns and head proclaim this fact.
1951 A. Roberts Mammals 277The Hartebeests..are not aggressive, attempting to get away rather than defend themselves, except as a last resort..usually making-off in the so characteristic wavy lumbering gallop.
1970 Life 19 Jan. 49The horns of the hartebeest (‘hart’ or ‘stag’ beast in South African Dutch) are unlike those of any other animal.
1976 D.M.B. Preston Story of Frontier Town 23There are no hartebeest in this area today. Their beautiful red-brown pliable hides were much prized by the Xhosas and particularly by the Bechuanas for making soft cloaks, which fact contributed to their extermination.
1987 T.F.J. Van Rensburg Intro. to Fynbos 51The hippo, black rhino and hartebeest..disappeared a long time ago.
1991 Personality 5 Aug. 26I’ve..seen hartebeest lying dead in the pen while that lot was actually being auctioned.
b. With distinguishing epithet, designating a particular species of hartebeest:
bastard hartebeest obsolete except in historical contexts [translation of South African Dutch basterhartebeest, probably so called because the antelope was thought to be a hartebeest of impure stock; cf. Bastard adjective], the tsessebe, Damaliscus lunatus;
Cape hartebeest, see red hartebeest (below);
flat-horned hartebeest [so called because its horns are flattened at the base], Lichtenstein’s hartebeest /ˈlɪxtənˌstəɪnz -/ [named for the German naturalist M.H.K. Lichtenstein (1780–1857)], or moffhartebeest, mofhartebeest /ˈmɔf-/ [Afrikaans, mof of impure breeding, probably from Dutch mof, muf literally ‘musty’, an insult usually applied to foreigners; cf. mof adjective], the antelope Sigmoceros lichtensteinii (usually referred to as ‘Lichtenstein’s hartebeest’), yellow-tawny in colour, and now found only in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, in small numbers;
red hartebeest, any of several southern African subspecies of the antelope Alcelaphus buselaphus, especially A.b. caama, reddish-brown to yellowish-fawn in colour, with pale rump; kama.
1801bastard hartebeest: [see sassaby].
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 378Acronotus Lunata. The Sassayby. Bastard Hartebeest of the Cape Colonists.
1994 M. Roberts tr. of J.A. Wahlberg’s Trav. Jrnls 1838–56 111Bring down 2 bastard hartebeest.
1989 D. Day Encycl. of Vanished Species 194Another Hartebeest, the Cape Red form..was saved from extinction...The Cape Hartebeest was abundant throughout South and South West Africa when the white settlers arrived.
1891 R. Ward Sportsman’s Handbk 124Flat-horned Hartebeests, found near the river Sabi, in south-eastern Mashunaland.
1896 R. Ward Rec. of Big Game 65The true Hartebeeste of South Africa — often called by the Boers the Rooi (red) Hartebeeste, to distinguish it from the Tsessebe (Bastard Hartebeeste or Zulu Hartebeeste of the Dutch hunters) and Lichtenstein’s Hartebeeste — is still, thanks to its wariness, speed, and desert-loving habits, fairly abundant in many of its ancient haunts.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I. 136Lichtenstein’s hartebeest is only found in the north-eastern part of South Africa.
1987 Weekend Argus 5 Sept. (Suppl.) 5Readers helped bring the Lichtenstein’s hartebeest back to South Africa.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I. 135Moff hartebeest, See Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest.
1985 Breakfast cereal packaging, Kellogg Co. (Pty) LtdWe have allowed the Mofhartebeest to disappear from under our very noses...As little as 60 years ago some Mofhartebeest still graced our veld with their presence. Early hunters and explorers knew them well.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I.Red Hartebeest, Bubalis caama...Hartebeest of the Dutch and English Colonists.
1925 F.C. Slater Centenary Bk of S. Afr. Verse 234Bubalis caama, the Red Hartebeeste, is a large ungainly antelope once found throughout the country, but now restricted to the Kalahari region.
1964 G. Campbell Old Dusty 132The quagga are extinct, and the white rhino and red hartebeest are on the verge.
1974 E. Prov. Herald 7 Sept. 6Only 1500 red hartebeest and 540 wildebeest remain — both..enjoyed a far wider distribution in the past.
1980 J. Hanks Mammals 36Red Hartebeest, Alcelaphus buselaphus...Formerly occurred in Natal in high rainfall areas, but it is now restricted to arid parts of Southern Africa, where it is mainly a grazer...Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, Alcelaphus lichtensteini [sic] Colour variable, usually a fairly bright rufous on the back.
1988 A. Hall-Martin et al. Kaokoveld 37The red hartebeest is not normally regarded as a resident of the kaokoveld...Their status is vulnerable.
A name applied to any of several antelope of the genera Damaliscus, Sigmoceros, and Alcephalus of the Bovidae, especially the red hartebeest and the Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (see b below); hartebeasta. Also attributive.

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17861994