cou·​gar | \ ˈkü-gər How to pronounce cougar (audio) also -ˌgär \
plural cougars also cougar

Definition of cougar

1 : a large powerful tawny-brown cat (Puma concolor synonym Felis concolor) formerly widespread in the Americas but now reduced in number or extinct in many areas

called also catamount, mountain lion, panther, puma

2 slang : a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man

Illustration of cougar

Illustration of cougar

cougar 1

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of cougar in a Sentence

in many regions, suburban developments have encroached upon the habitat of the cougar
Recent Examples on the Web Pick up any children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar. oregonlive, "2, possibly 3 cougars reportedly sighted in western Lane County, sheriff says," 18 June 2020 If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or any other items available. oregonlive, "2, possibly 3 cougars reportedly sighted in western Lane County, sheriff says," 18 June 2020 The young cougar had perhaps run off on its own, in pursuit of a deer, or had perhaps been sent off by its mother just a little too soon. Steve Rubenstein,, "Mountain lion slinks into San Francisco, seen near Salesforce Tower," 16 June 2020 The cougar was a juvenile and had Travis in his jaws. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, "In California: Officials field calls about cars in parking lots, people too close," 27 Mar. 2020 In South America, cougars have been captured in the Chilean capital Santiago amid the city’s coronavirus lockdown. Fox News, "Incredible pictures show flamingos flocking to Mumbai amid India’s coronavirus lockdown," 1 May 2020 In 1995, eight female Texas cougars were introduced into the population to infuse fresh genes, five of which bred successfully, before being removed from the wild. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Endangered Florida panthers filmed fighting for the first time," 13 Apr. 2020 Some advertised wolf cubs, raccoons, cougars and bobcats for sale, while others were seeking to buy exotic animals. Meagan Hurley, Dallas News, "‘Tiger King’ reminds us of Dallas’ past experiences with exotic animals," 26 Mar. 2020 The Washington state Fish and Wildlife Commission a week ago voted in favor of expanding cougar hunting season and the number that can be killed. Los Angeles Times, "Southern California mountain lions get temporary endangered species status," 16 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cougar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cougar

1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cougar

French couguar, modification of New Latin cuguacuarana, from Tupi sɨwasuarána, from sɨwásu deer + -ran resembling

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cougar

Time Traveler for cougar

Time Traveler

The first known use of cougar was in 1774

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cougar

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cougar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cougar


How to pronounce cougar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cougar

: a large brownish cat that was once common in North and South America


cou·​gar | \ ˈkü-gər How to pronounce cougar (audio) \

Kids Definition of cougar

: a large yellowish brown wild animal of North and South America related to the domestic cat

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cougar

What made you want to look up cougar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!