noun \ˈpōl-ˌkat\

: a European animal that has dark brown fur and a long thin body and that gives off a bad smell to defend itself

plural polecats or polecat

Full Definition of POLECAT

:  any of several carnivorous mammals (as of the genera Mustela or Vormela) of the weasel family; especially :  a brown to black European mammal (M. putorius) from which the domesticated ferret is derived
:  skunk

Origin of POLECAT

Middle English polcat, probably from Middle French poul, pol cock + Middle English cat; probably from its preying on poultry — more at pullet
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

European polecat (Mustela putorius)—Russ Kinne—Photo Researchers

Any of several carnivores of the weasel family (Mustelidae), found in Eurasia and Africa. The polecat hunts at night, principally on the ground, feeding on small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, and eggs. Species differ in size and colour. The European, or common, polecat (Mustela putorius), also called foul marten for its odour, weighs 1–3 lb (0.5–1.4 kg) and is 14–21 in. (35–53 cm) long, excluding the 5–8-in. (13–20-cm) bushy tail. Its long, coarse fur is brown above, black below. In the U.S., skunks are often called polecats. See also ferret.


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