wildebeest, noun

Forms:
veldebeest, vilderbeesteShow more Also veldebeest, vilderbeeste, wildebees, wildebeeste, wildebeste, wilderbeest.
Plurals:
wildebeests, wildebeeste /ˈvəldəˌbɪəstə/.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Dutch, AfrikaansShow more South African Dutch, from Dutch wilde (combining form of wild wild) + beest beast, referring to the animal either as an undomesticated bovine, or an untamable animal. (The modern Afrikaans form is wildebees.)
a. Either of two species of southern African antelope belonging to the genus Connochaetes of the Bovidae, C. gnou (see black wildebeest, sense b below) and C. taurinus (see blue wildebeest, sense b below); gnu noun1 sense a; wildebeast. Also attributive.
1821 [see gnu].
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 109A very extensive open plain, abounding..in wild animals; among which were..many wilde-beests or gnues.
1843 Cape of G.H. Almanac & Annual Register 462The gnu or wildebeest...Forming the link which connects the ox tribe with the antelope, it partakes in some degree of the character of both.
1851 R. Gray Jrnls of Two Visitations II. 27He..often found that all the eatables they could produce were a little wilde-beest flesh.
1866 E. Wilson Reminisc. 38Wildebestes also abound on..these large plains.
1878 H.A. Roche On Trek in Tvl 271Bless-bok, reit-bok, rhe-bok, wilderbeest, and the graceful little spring-bok or antelope — I believe we have seen them all.
1882 S. Heckford Lady Trader in Tvl 263A large herd of wilde-beests..was a magnificent sight to see..bounding through the bush, with their tails flying, the bulls tossing their long black manes.
1895 H. Rider Haggard Nada 57In the left hand of each was the tail of a vilderbeeste.
1934 B.I. Buchanan Pioneer Days 145The wildebeeste always have a bull in front, and he gives the alarm at the approach of man.
1967 O. Walker Hippo Poacher 102Harry was..known to have trained a span of wildebeeste to pull a wagon.
1975 S. Afr. Panorama Nov. 34‘Lions,’ they called back. ‘Just killed a wildebeest; it’s lying in that dip’.
1987 You Sept. 104Game includes..wildebees.
b. With distinguishing epithet, designating one or other of these two species:
||bastaard wildebeest, see blue wildebeest;
black wildebeest, Connochaetes gnou; black gnu, white-tailed gnu, see gnu noun1 sense b; white-tailed wildebeest;
blue wildebeest, ||blouwildebeest /bləʊ-/, also (formerly) ||blauw wilde beest, [Afrikaans, blou (earlier Dutch blauw) blue], C. taurinus; bastaard wildebeest; brindled gnu, see gnu noun1 sense b; kokoon;
white-tailed wildebeest, see black wildebeest.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 278The Mixed Hottentots have given it the name of Bastaard Wildebeest.
1866 J. Leyland Adventures 15We shot a number of..blue and black Wildebeests.
1891 R. Ward Sportsman’s Handbk 123In the open plains of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, herds of..Black wildebeests..are still to be met with, but their numbers are becoming less and their range more circumscribed.
1976 J. Hanks Mammals 39Black Wildebeest,..Overall colour from black to dark brown, with a long tail that is mostly white.
1987 Conserva Apr. 5The bloubok and the quagga were wiped out, and only the creation of game reserves prevented such species as the..black wildebeest..from a similar fate.
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 375The Brindled Gnoo. Blauw Wilde Beestof the Cape Colonists.
1970 S. Afr. Panorama Nov.One encounters a great number of blouwildebeest.
1897 H.A. Bryden Nature & Sport 201Brindled gnu they are called in Europe, in South Africa invariably blue wildebeest.
1925 E. Prov. Herald 6 July 7The Prince of Wales, in the course of a perfect day in the bush, shot a blue wildebeeste.
1964 L.G. Green Old Men Say 162Blue wildebees roamed the Cape Peninsula thousands of years ago.
1976 J. Hanks Mammals 38Blue Wildebeest,..Overall colour a dark silver grey, with a variable number of vertical darker bands on the foreparts.
1990white-tailed wildebeest: [see white-tailed gnu gnu n.1 sense b].
Either of two species of southern African antelope belonging to the genus Connochaetes of the Bovidae, C. gnou (see black wildebeest, b below) and C. taurinus (see blue wildebeest, sense b below); gnunouna; wildebeast. Also attributive.

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18241987