The cheetah “derives its name from the Hindi word chita, meaning spotted or sprinkled”.
Here is the online Google translation which interestingly shows the pronunciation “cheeta” of the Hindi word.
The wonderful authors on the wild cats, Mel and Fiona Sunquist, go on to state that other animals have been partly named after the same word. One is the chital or spotted deer and another is the chita-bora, a snake.
The cheetah’s Latin or scientific name is Acinonyx jubatus given in 1776. “Acinonyx” probably comes from the Greek akaina meaning thorn and onyx meaning claw. This is a reference to the cheetah’s unsheathed claw. “Jubatus” comes from Latin meaning having a crest or mane. Cheetah cubs have a crest down their backs.
Source: Wild Cats of the World.