noun \ˈä-sə-ˌlät, ˈō-\

: a wildcat that lives mainly in Central and South America and that has light brown fur with black spots and stripes

Full Definition of OCELOT

:  a medium-sized American wildcat (Felis pardalis) that ranges from Texas to northern Argentina and has a tawny-yellow or grayish coat dotted and striped with black

Illustration of OCELOT

Origin of OCELOT

French, from Nahuatl ōcēlōtl jaguar
First Known Use: 1774


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis).—Warren Garst/Tom Stack and Associates

Species (Leopardus pardalis) of cat found in forests, grasslands, and brush-covered regions from Texas to northern Argentina. The ocelot is 36–52 in. (90–130 cm) long, excluding the 12–16-in. (30–40-cm) tail. It stands about 18 in. (45 cm) and weighs 24–35 lbs (11–16 kg). The upper body varies from whitish to tawny yellow to gray. The head, neck, and body are marked by specific patterns of black stripes and spots: spots on the head, two stripes on each cheek, oblong spots arranged in chainlike bands on the body, and bars or blotches on the tail. The ocelot hunts at night for small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. It is listed as an endangered species in the U.S.


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