civet

noun

civ·​et ˈsi-vət How to pronounce civet (audio)
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 Visitors have the chance to encounter a variety of wildlife, including sambar deer, various species of civets, spotted linsang, Asian golden cats, leopard cats, pythons and others. Sandra MacGregor, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 This top pick features notes of bergamot, neroli, pink pepper, rose, jasmine, honeysuckle, marshmallow, orange blossom, white musk, vanilla, civet, and labdanum for a bold and feminine aroma. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 14 Dec. 2023 Otters, seals, civets and sea lions had larger areas. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 23 Aug. 2023 Pure civet is a crude, buttery-yellow paste that turns darker with age. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2014 But the civets proved to be intermediate hosts, and its natural host was later identified as horseshoe bats. David Quammen, New York Times, 25 July 2023 Inside the civet's digestive tract, the beans are fermented and broken down, then the coffee is harvested from the civet's feces, washed thoroughly and roasted. Josie Goodrich, USA TODAY, 7 July 2023 Kopi Luwak Coffee Kopi luwak coffee is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and excreted by Asian palm civets, a type of Indonesian wild cat-like animal. Josie Goodrich, USA TODAY, 7 July 2023 In life, the carnivore was about the size of a bobcat and probably behaved like a civet or fossa. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'civet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of civet was in 1532

Dictionary Entries Near civet

Cite this Entry

“Civet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civet. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

civet

noun
civ·​et ˈsiv-ət How to pronounce civet (audio)
1
: a thick yellowish strong-smelling substance obtained from the civet cat and used in perfume
2

Medical Definition

civet

noun
civ·​et ˈsiv-ət How to pronounce civet (audio)
1
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

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