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

The cougar was turned over to Oregon State Police Fish & Game after it was killed. Fox News, "Oregon deputy kills cougar threatening family after mom forced to leave sleeping infant inside car," 23 June 2019 When a sheriff’s deputy arrived, the cougar remained close to the vehicle., "Cougar shot, killed by sheriff’s deputy in Cascade Locks," 22 June 2019 Images of what appears to be a cougar were captured from a home security camera recently. Fox News, "Possible mountain lion sighting in Minnesota yard prompts warning from officials: 'Stay aware, everyone!'," 14 June 2019 Area corporate factory farms are havens for predators such as cougars that are searching for an easy meal, placing rural communities, children and pets at risk. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: A cougar is no surprise in factory farm country," 14 June 2019 The agency said there has been no evidence detected of either breeding pairs or single cougars since the last confirmed sighting in 1938. Mari A. Schaefer,, "Eastern cougars are now officially extinct," 25 Jan. 2018 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials used dogs to track the cougar. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Officials kill cougar that tried to attack a child in Leavenworth park," 3 June 2019 There are about 6,600 cougars — also called commonly called mountain lions or pumas — throughout Oregon. Gillian Flaccus, Fox News, "Authorities: Dead Oregon hiker likely killed by cougar," 12 Sep. 2018 Dating him is what finally convinced me this cougar business is a load of crap. Melanie Hamlett, Glamour, "Men My Age Wouldn’t Date Me, so I Became a ‘Cougar’," 5 Apr. 2019

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

Statistics for cougar

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cougar

The first known use of cougar was in 1774

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on cougar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cougar

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cougar

Spanish Central: Translation of cougar

Nglish: Translation of cougar for Spanish Speakers

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

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).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!