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

Examples of cougar in a Sentence

in many regions, suburban developments have encroached upon the habitat of the cougar
Recent Examples on the Web The cougar bit the dog's head and wouldn't let go, even when Wilson attacked the animal with rocks, sticks and her fists and tried to choke it and gouge its eyes. CBS News, 18 May 2022 In one of the more important recruiting visits ahead of the Big 12, a photoshoot with a fake cougar took centerstage. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 June 2022 One of the best segments of the show was based on an audience member named Jordi’s scary childhood story of being chased by a cougar in the San Diego mountains. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 June 2022 The young male cougar that attacked Lily has been killed, the statement said, and tests showed the animal didn't have rabies. Paradise Afshar, CNN, 1 June 2022 But the cougar was identified as P-97, 18 months, who had recently separated from his mother. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Lily jumped out to surprise her friends when the cougar attacked, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 1 June 2022 The sting operation occurred on Jan. 24, 2021, after a houndsman found cougar tracks near Meadow Canyon in Millard County. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 May 2022 Wildlife officers have collected samples from the wounds for DNA analysis and authorities will try to trap the cougar, the department said. CBS News, 18 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Couette flow



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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cougar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cougar


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

More from Merriam-Webster on cougar

Nglish: Translation of cougar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cougar for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cougar


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