civet

noun
civ·​et | \ ˈsi-vət How to pronounce civet (audio) \

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

Illustration of civet

Illustration of civet

civet 1

Examples of civet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The viruses can be transmitted from animals to humans; the virus that causes SARS, for example, was originally transmitted to humans from a cat-like animal called a civet. CBS News, "What is the coronavirus from China and what are the symptoms?," 10 Feb. 2020 The civet, a small catlike mammal found throughout Southeast Asia and parts of Africa, marks its territory by secreting a distinctive scent from its anal glands. Antonia Noori Farzan, BostonGlobe.com, "An English zoo’s jungle cats would like your leftover perfume. Preferably Calvin Klein.," 1 Feb. 2020 In 2003, at the height of SARS epidemic, which is believed to have originated in civets, the government issued a temporary ban on the wildlife trade. National Geographic, "More Chinese push to end wildlife markets as WHO declares coronavirus emergency," 30 Jan. 2020 Chalk it up to the civetone, a natural perfume ingredient that comes from the animal civet (a small nocturnal animal) that labs can manufacture now, according to the Bronx Zoo’s testing. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Very Large Cats With Very Excellent Taste Need More Spritzes of the Finest 'Purrrfume'," 30 Jan. 2020 The viruses can be transmitted from animals to humans; the virus that causes SARS, for example, was originally transmitted to humans from a cat-like animal called a civet. CBS News, "What is the coronavirus from China and what are the symptoms?," 28 Jan. 2020 Federal officials said inspectors identified the skins were from bushbucks, a species of antelope in sub-Saharan Africa, and from genets and civets, small catlike mammals. Washington Post, "No, you can’t bring African animal skins, heads, or giant African land snail shells to the U.S. and call them ‘drums and clothes’," 11 Oct. 2019 Its staff recently welcomed a newborn black wildebeest, crowned lemur and an Owston’s civet kitten, which was hand-reared by keepers — a first-time feat, according to the zoo. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Hold on Tight! Newquay Zoo's New Baby Capuchin Monkey Loves Piggyback Rides from Mom," 7 Nov. 2019 The skins and heads were identified as being from the bushback species of antelope, and genet and civet, which are cat-like mammals, according to CBP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) inspectors. Fox News, "African cat skins, antelope head, giant snail shells confiscated by US Customs," 11 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of civet

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for civet

Middle French civette, from Old Italian zibetto, from Arabic zabād civet perfume

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Time Traveler for civet

Time Traveler

The first known use of civet was in 1532

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Statistics for civet

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Civet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civet. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for civet

civet

noun
How to pronounce civet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of civet

: 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

civet

noun
civ·​et | \ ˈsiv-ət How to pronounce civet (audio) \

Medical Definition of civet

2 : a thick yellowish musky-odored substance found in a pouch near the sexual organs of the civet cat and used in perfume

More from Merriam-Webster on civet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with civet

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about civet

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