Definition of civet
1 : any of various Old World carnivorous viverrid mammals with long bodies, short legs, and a usually long tail
2 : a thick yellowish musky-odored substance found in a sac near the anus of the civet (especially genera Civettictis, Viverra, and Viverricula) and used in perfume
Recent Examples of civet from the Web
The prohibition of caged civets is specifically singled out in the SAN guidelines for coffee in Indonesia.
These Southeast Asian mammals are actually related to small forest predators like fossas, civets, and genets.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civet'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of civet
Medieval French civette, from Old Italian zibetto, from Arabic zabād civet perfume
First Known Use: 1532See Words from the same year
CIVET Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of civet for English Language Learners
: a wild animal that is like a cat and that has a long body, short legs, and a long tail
: a substance from the body of the civet that has a strong smell and is sometimes used to make perfume
Seen and Heard
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