a. A large wild cat (Panthera pardus) of Africa and southern Asia, having either tawny fur with dark rosettelike markings or black fur.
b. Any of several similar felines, such as the cheetah or the snow leopard.
2. Heraldry A lion in side view, having one forepaw raised and the head facing the observer.
[Middle English, from Old French leupart, from Late Latin leopardus, from Greek leopardos : Greek leōn, lion; see LION + Greek pardos, pard; see PARD.]
(click for a larger image)leopard
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.