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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 Indo-European roots) + -khwār, eater (from Old Iranian *-khvāra-; see manticore).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -khors, -khor, -khoors or -khoor
(Animals) a large wild Himalayan goat, Capra falconeri, with a reddish-brown coat and large spiralled horns
[C19: from Persian, literally: snake-eater, from mār snake + -khōr eating]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014