Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A long-legged, swift-running wild cat (Acinonyx jubatus) of Africa and southwest Asia, having tawny, black-spotted fur and nonretractile claws. The cheetah, the fastest animal on land, can run for short distances at about 96 kilometers (60 miles) per hour.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distinctive member (Acinonyx jubatus) of the cat family , slightly smaller than the leopard, but with proportionately longer limbs and a smaller head; it is native to Africa and also credited with being the fastest terrestrial animal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of leopard (Cynælurus jubatus) tamed and used for hunting in India. The woolly cheetah of South Africa is Cynælurus laneus. It runs very fast in short spurts while hunting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. long-legged spotted cat of Africa and southwestern Asia having nonretractile claws; the swiftest mammal; can be trained to run down game

Etymologies

Hindi cītā, from Sanskrit citrakāyaḥ, tiger, leopard : citra-, variegated + kāyaḥ, body.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Hindi चीता (cītā, "leopard", "panther"), ultimately from Sanskrit चित्र (citra, "multicolored", "speckled") (akin to Old High German haitar ("bright") > German heiter; Old Norse heiðr) + काय (kāya, "body"), thus "having a spotted body". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Now he's at work on a new book and photo project taking him around the world, with a new means of transportation, a bouncy gadget he calls cheetah legs.

    David Frey: Shooting From the Hip

  • First introduced to the series when she was a tiny cub in 2005, Duma the cheetah is now about a year old and nearly equal in size to her mother (the image of Duma used above is from the Duma slideshow on the BBC website).

    Finally: big cat kills uncensored and uncut

  • Understanding the economic base of the country is extremely important to long-term cheetah survival.

    The Cheetah's Race for Survival

  • Amongst other things we saw a cheetah, which is pretty rare, and we also had a good time watching the baboons and warthogs hanging out together on the savannah.

    serengeti, ngorongoro crater, and lake manyara

  • Given the cheetah's tendency to activity, cats who spend most of their time sleeping in the sun might well label the cheetah hyperactive.

    Free to Run

  • And the cheetah is the only member of the cat family that has non-retractable claws.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • There is talk of India importing the cheetah, which is extinct in our country, from countries like Namibia.

    Questions & Answers - Valmik Thapar

  • Although the cheetah is the fastest predator on land (capable of reaching speeds of 100 km per hour), its slight build and timid disposition make it subordinate to other carnivores, and it is often robbed of its prey.

    Kalahari xeric savanna

  • It's got the top piece which is customized to any amputee's stump and then it comprises the actual foot, which is called the cheetah, which is made by RSA (ph).

    CNN Transcript May 22, 2008

  • The fastest animal in the world, the cheetah is the fastest land mammal.

    CNN Transcript Dec 25, 2008

Comments

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  • Looks good, John! But on multi-word phrases it only defines the first word (see hilarious misunderstanding for an example. Would be nice if it could either define every word in the phrase, or define the whole phrase (if it knows it), or not define anything at all.

    November 2, 2007

  • Thanks, John! Pretty snazzy. C_b, I called myself a punctuationista, but you joined in readily. :-)

    As for the WordNet stuff, I doubt we can do anything about the punctuation at our end, so we'll have to learn to live with it. But it seems okay here--semicolons are standard "dictionary-ish" for separating distinct definitions. Or were you not referring to this page?

    November 2, 2007

  • I noticed those definitions, John. Slick! They're nice and faint and unobtrusive. Some of them have slight errors in punctuation though (didn't someone call me a punctuationista once?), and I'd love if this page reflected that cheetahs, in short sprints, are the fastest land mammal.

    Or did someone debunk that?

    November 2, 2007

  • Ba dump bump!

    p.s. headcheese.

    November 2, 2007

  • Whew! We thought you had forgotten about us, c_b. ;)

    November 2, 2007

  • Yeah, sorry about that. The company that hosts Wordie, slicehost, tanked this morning. Traffic couldn't get through to any sites they host.

    After which I took it down for a few minutes to add definitions to words. They come from WordNet, an open-source lexicographic database from Princeton. I'll polish this over time (WordNet supports more than just definitions, it's pretty cool), but figured I'd throw what I have out there, see how folks feel about it.

    November 2, 2007

  • Ba dump bump!

    Sorry, wordie was down all morning for me. This is the first time I could get the page to load at all.

    November 2, 2007

  • This is a lot gazzle (sic gazelle) dazzle

    November 1, 2007

  • Where's chained_bear? We need drum rolls on this page. ;-)

    November 1, 2007

  • Or she's just looking for lynx to her ancestors.

    November 1, 2007

  • He must be lion. Cheetahs will all the time. (Look at the New England Patriots, for example..)

    November 1, 2007

  • My cats race each other a lot. One claims to be a natural cheetah. Then the other says cheetahs never win.

    November 1, 2007