meer·​kat | \ ˈmir-ˌkat How to pronounce meerkat (audio) \

Definition of meerkat

: any of several African mongooses especially : a burrowing highly social primarily insectivorous mammal (Suricata suricatta) of southern Africa that is chiefly grayish with faint black markings and lives in usually large colonies

Illustration of meerkat

Illustration of meerkat

Examples of meerkat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Although they are extremely bonded, these cute kitties have pretty unique personalities, as Lynx loves to show off his wild side by sitting on his hind legs like a meerkat, chirping like a bird and carrying toys in his mouth like a puppy. The Arizona Republic, "Moose, Lynx and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 6 Nov. 2020 In California, 29 animals had been tested by the end of September, including a meerkat, a monkey and a coatimundi, a member of the raccoon family. Jonel Aleccia, CNN, "Covid-19 tests given to cats, dogs, dolphins and more animal species by US scientists," 30 Oct. 2020 In 2019, the zoo honored Hogle by naming its new meerkat exhibit after him. The Salt Lake Tribune, "James E. Hogle, longtime board chairman of Hogle Zoo, dies at 83," 7 Oct. 2020 According to the zoo, a meerkat's gestation period is about 11 weeks, and a typical litter consists of two to five pups. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "L.A. Zoo Welcomes 4 'Energetic' Meerkat Pups — and They're Already Busy Digging," 30 June 2020 Jenna Wingate, the zoo’s senior Africa keeper, rolled a newspaper into a funnel, lodged it inside the titanium tree trunk and poured into it the meerkat’s morning meal of about 40 crickets. Sarah Haselhorst,, "At the zoo, meerkats work for their dinner with the help of GE engineers and some titanium," 8 June 2020 The Times has more intriguing and provocative takes on meerkats, honeybees, African wild dogs, baboons and rock ants. Jeremy Engle, New York Times, "Lesson of the Day: ‘Sneezing Dogs, Dancing Bees: How Animals Vote’," 9 Mar. 2020 Accountants at nearby cafes raise their heads like meerkats to see what’s the commotion. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2020 Ferrari Portofino: An Everyday Supercar for the Very Wealthy," 23 Jan. 2020 Since then, the zoo has had aardvarks, sloths, meerkats, manatees and more on the show. Briana Rice,, "You have another chance to see Fiona during Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari Facebook Live," 7 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meerkat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of meerkat

1801, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for meerkat

Afrikaans, from Dutch, a kind of monkey, from Middle Dutch meercatte monkey, from meer sea + catte cat

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Time Traveler for meerkat

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The first known use of meerkat was in 1801

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Cite this Entry

“Meerkat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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