cou·​gar | \ˈkü-gər 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 cougar : a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man

Illustration of cougar

Illustration of cougar

cougar 1

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Examples of cougar in a Sentence

in many regions, suburban developments have encroached upon the habitat of the cougar

Recent Examples on the Web

Most notably, residents in Brookfield, Franklin, Menomonee Falls and Ixonia reported seeing a cougar roaming around. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The door pushed back': Pewaukee police find coyote in vacant River Hills Healthcare building," 11 Apr. 2018 Last seen in 1938, the eastern cougar was declared extinct in 2011. Elisa Neckar, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Big Cats," 8 May 2018 The Canadian Rockies hold a huge number of carnivores—wolves, cougars, wolverine, lynx, coyote, marten, and smaller weasels. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Humans Are Turning Mammals More Nocturnal," 14 June 2018 With just a few minutes of screen-time, American Woman torpedos the idea of the cougar., "American Woman Subtly Retires The Cougar Trope Forever," 22 June 2018 There has been no wolf or cougar attack on a human in Wisconsin in modern history, according to USDA records. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Top 5 Wisconsin wildlife risks to humans? Maybe not what you think.," 13 June 2018 Nearly 30 minutes of 911 emergency calls released Tuesday detail in real time the drama of last Saturday’s fatal cougar attack in the Cascade Mountain foothills. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "911 calls on cougar attack near Snoqualmie: Dropped calls and a ‘Help!’," 24 May 2018 This is the first fatal cougar attack in the state in nearly 100 years. Deborah Horne, ajc, "2 victims of cougar attack identified, friends grieving death of avid cyclist," 21 May 2018 Authorities said this is the second cougar attack death in Washington state in the past 100 years. Andreas Preuss, CNN, "Cougar kills mountain biker, injures another in Washington state," 20 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for cougar

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for cougar

The first known use of cougar was in 1774

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More Definitions for cougar



English Language Learners Definition of cougar

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


cou·​gar | \ˈkü-gər \

Kids Definition of cougar

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

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