Definition of desman
1a : an aquatic insectivorous mammal (Desmana moschata) of Russia that resembles a mole b : a related animal (Galemys pyrenaicus) of the Pyrenees
2 : the fur or pelt of a desman
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Origin and Etymology of desman
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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