A large goat antelope (Capra falconeri) of the western Himalayas, having a brownish coat, corkscrew-shaped horns, and long fur on the neck and chest in the male.
[Ultimately (partly via Kashmiri, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu) from Persian mārkhōr, variant (influenced by khor-, stem of khordan, to eat) of mārkhwār, literally "snake-eater" (the markhor being so called because of the widespread Eurasian folk belief that certain ungulates eat snakes, perhaps inspired by the markhor's coiled, serpentine horns, or by the dark green bezoars of old markhor bucks, traditionally prized as an antidote to poison) : mār, snake (from Middle Persian, perhaps from Old Iranian *marthra-, killer; see mer- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + -khwār, eater (from Old Iranian *-khvāra-; see MANTICORE).]
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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.