gen·​et ˈje-nət How to pronounce genet (audio)
: any of a genus (Genetta) of small Old World usually carnivorous viverrid mammals related to the civets and having retractile claws, spotted or striped fur, and a ringed tail

Examples of genet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Predators include mongooses, genets, jackals, domestic dogs and cats, owls, and snakes. National Geographic, 19 Nov. 2019 Federal officials said inspectors identified the skins were from bushbucks, a species of antelope in sub-Saharan Africa, and from genets and civets, small catlike mammals. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2019 The skins and heads were identified as being from the bushback species of antelope, and genet and civet, which are cat-like mammals, according to CBP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) inspectors. Fox News, 11 Oct. 2019 Lions, cheetahs and leopards may be spotted during the day, while night brings out a parade of smaller carnivores, including serval, genets, civets, pale foxes and honey badgers. Rachel Nuwer, New York Times, 14 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'genet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English genete, from Anglo-French, ultimately from Arabic jarnayṭ

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of genet was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near genet

Cite this Entry

“Genet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Biographical Definition

Genet 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Ge·​net zhə-ˈnā How to pronounce Genet (audio)
Edmond-Charles-Édouard 1763–1834 Citizen Genet French diplomat in U.S.


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Jean 1910–1986 French dramatist and novelist

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