plural -s
: an aquatic insectivorous mammal (Desmana moschata) of Russia that resembles a mole
: a related animal (Galemys pyrenaicus) of the Pyrenees
: the fur or pelt of a desman

Word History


short for Swedish desmansråtta, from desman musk (from Middle Low German desem, dessmer) + råtta rat; akin to Old English disma musk, Old Saxon desemo, Middle High German tiseme, tesem, all from a prehistoric West Germanic word borrowed from Medieval Latin bisamum musk, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew beśem pleasant aroma

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Dictionary Entries Near desman

Cite this Entry

“Desman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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