desman

noun

des·​man
ˈdezmən
plural -s
1
a
: 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

Word History

Etymology

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/desman. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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