noun rac·coon \ra-ˈkün also rə-\

: 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

plural raccoon or raccoons also racoon or racoons

Full Definition of RACCOON

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
:  any of several animals resembling or related to the raccoon

Variants of RACCOON

rac·coon also ra·coon \ra-ˈkün also rə-\

Illustration of RACCOON

Origin of RACCOON

Virginia Algonquian raugroughcun, arocoun
First Known Use: 1608

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole
RACOONS Defined for Kids


noun rac·coon \ra-ˈkün\

Definition of RACCOON for Kids

:  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

Word History of 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.


Next Word in the Dictionary: raccoonberryPrevious Word in the Dictionary: raccommodeAll Words Near: raccoon
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears