/lep"euhrd/, n.
1. a large, spotted Asian or African carnivore, Panthera pardus, of the cat family, usually tawny with black markings; the Old World panther: all leopard populations are threatened or endangered.
2. the fur or pelt of this animal.
3. any of various related cats resembling this animal.
4. Heraldry. a lion represented from the side as walking, usually with one forepaw raised, and looking toward the spectator.
5. Numis.
a. an Anglo-Gallic gold coin issued by Edward III, equal to half a florin, bearing the figure of a leopard.
b. a silver Anglo-Gallic coin issued by Henry V.
6. (cap.) Mil. a 42-ton (38-m ton) West German tank with a 105mm gun.
[1250-1300; ME < LL leopardus < Gk leópardos, syncopated var. of LEONTÓPARDOS, equiv. to leonto- (s. of léon) LION + párdos PARD1]

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Big cat (Panthera pardus) of the bush and forest, found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, in North Africa, and in Asia.

The average leopard weighs 110–200 lbs (50–90 kg) and is about 6 ft (210 cm) long, excluding the 35-in. (90-cm) tail, and 24–28 in. (60–70 cm) high at the shoulder. The background colour is typically yellowish above and white below. The dark spots arranged in rosettes over much of the body lack a central spot, unlike those of the jaguar. The leopard is solitary and mainly nocturnal. An agile climber, it frequently stores the remains of its kills in tree branches. It generally preys on antelope and deer. It also hunts dogs and, in Africa, baboons. It sometimes takes livestock and may attack humans. The leopard is considered an endangered species by the U.S. but not by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). See also cheetah; cougar; snow leopard.

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Leonard Lee Rue III
(as used in expressions)
sea leopard
Black Panther Party for Self Defense

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formerly  pard  or  pardus , also called  panther 
 (Panthera pardus), large cat closely related to the lion, tiger, and jaguar. The name leopard was originally given to the cat now called cheetah—the so-called hunting leopard—which was once thought to be a cross between the lion and the pard. The term pard was eventually replaced by the name leopard.

      The leopard is found over nearly the whole of Africa south of the Sahara, in northeast Africa, and from Asia Minor through Central Asia and India to China and Manchuria. It varies greatly in size and markings. The average size is 50 to 90 kilograms (110 to 200 pounds) in weight, 210 cm (84 inches), excluding the 90-cm tail, in length, and 60 to 70 cm in shoulder height. The leopard can, however, grow much larger. The ground colour is typically yellowish above and white below. Dark spots are generally arranged in rosettes over much of the body and are without the central spot characteristic of the coat of the jaguar; the ground colour within the rosettes is sometimes a darker yellow, and the size and spacing of the spots vary greatly. As a result of these differences in pattern, several races of leopard have been named.

      The leopard is a solitary animal of the bush and forest and is mainly nocturnal in habit, although it sometimes basks in the sun. It is an agile climber and frequently stores the remains of its kills in the branches of a tree. It feeds upon any animals it can overpower, from small rodents to waterbuck, but generally preys on the smaller and medium-sized antelopes and deer; it appears to have a special liking for dogs as food and, in Africa, for baboons. It sometimes takes livestock and may attack human beings.

      There is no definite breeding season; the female produces from two to four, usually three, cubs after a gestation period of about three months. The calls of the leopard vary and include a series of harsh coughs, throaty growls, and deep, purring sounds. The animal takes to water readily and is a good swimmer.

      A black form, in which the ground colour, as well as the spots, is black, is widely known as the black panther; it is more common in the Far East than in other parts of the range of the leopard. The races known as the Barbary, South Arabian, Anatolian, Amur, and Sinai leopards are listed as endangered in the Red Data Book.

      The lion, tiger, and jaguar also belong to the genus Panthera. The ounce (snow leopard) (snow leopard), leopard cat, and clouded leopard, although called leopards, are distinct genera.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • LEOPARD — (Heb. נָמֵר, namer), the strongest carnivorous animal in the Middle East. The leopard has a spotted coat, this being the meaning of its Hebrew name (Jer. 13:23). It is not to be confused with the tiger which, besides being striped, did not… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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