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raccoon

noun, rac·coon \ra-ˈkün also rə-\

Simple Definition of raccoon

  • : a small North American animal with grayish-brown fur that has black fur around its eyes and black rings around its tail

  • : the fur of a raccoon

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of raccoon

plural raccoon or raccoons also racoon or racoons

  1. 1 a :  a small nocturnal carnivore (Procyon lotor) of North America that is chiefly gray, has a black mask and bushy ringed tail, lives chiefly in trees, and has a varied diet including small animals, fruits, and nuts b :  the pelt of this animal

  2. 2 :  any of several animals resembling or related to the raccoon

Illustration of raccoon

Variants of raccoon

also racoon \ra-ˈkün also rə-\

Origin of raccoon

Virginia Algonquian raugroughcun, arocoun


First Known Use: 1608

Other Mammals Terms


RACCOON Defined for Kids

raccoon

noun rac·coon \ra-ˈkün\

Definition of raccoon for Students

  1. :  a small North American animal that is mostly gray with black around the eyes, has a bushy tail with black rings, is active mostly at night, and eats small animals, fruits, eggs, and insects



History for raccoon

Like hickory, moccasin, and tomahawk, the word raccoon comes from an American Indian language that was spoken around the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. The English colonist John Smith—famous for having his life spared by Pocahontas—first recorded the name for the unfamiliar animal as aroughcun, rarowcun, and raugroughcun.


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