meerkat

noun
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

Wingate knows the meerkats well and can reach out and delicately touch their backs. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "When playing with the zoo animals isn't really play," 30 May 2019 On a recent Tuesday afternoon at Mr. Ji’s cafe in the Hongdae neighborhood—ground zero for Seoul’s animal cafes—a meerkat cuddled with a leopard tortoise. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "That Raccoon Rooting Through Your Trash Could Be a Big Star in Seoul," 7 Nov. 2018 Most zoo animals are tucked in for the night, but the Day Exhibit of reptiles and amphibians and the Adaptations Building with meerkats and nocturnal animals are open during the event. Madeline Mckenzie, The Seattle Times, "Holiday sights light up the night at Green Lake, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle and Tacoma zoos," 5 Dec. 2018 Silver told the court Hooker was in the process of returning the meerkat when the police called. Trevor Marshallsea, The Seattle Times, "Missing zoo meerkat case solved with 3 charged in Australia," 14 Nov. 2018 The next critical datapoint will be the density of millisecond pulsars, and that will have to await the commissioning of the square kilometer array or meerKAT radio telescopes. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Gamma ray evidence for dark matter outshone by a flock of pulsars," 10 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, up in the sky, bats lead a much more egalitarian existence than do meerkats or mole rats. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "A New Book Looks at What Life Is Like for Moms across the Animal Kingdom," 1 May 2018 That idea never sat very well with researchers studying species such as meerkats, Lukas contends. Tim Vernimmen, Scientific American, "Babysitting Mammals Keep It in the Family," 20 June 2018 At the African Savannah exhibit, Fort Worth Zoo visitors can feed giraffes, watch hippos glide through a pool, play peek-a-boo with meerkats and talk to a variety of other animals, bird and fish. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Tortas, huaraches and green sauce at a little cafe in Grapevine | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about meerkat

Statistics for meerkat

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meerkat

The first known use of meerkat was in 1801

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on meerkat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meerkat

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about meerkat

Comments on meerkat

What made you want to look up meerkat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!