meer·​kat | \ ˈmir-ˌkat \

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

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 But the bloodiest, most homicidal of more than 1,000 species surveyed is the meerkat. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "The world’s most murderous mammal is probably not what you think it is," 30 Sep. 2016 Among the other animals along the trail are meerkats and western lowland gorillas. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney: Youngest zebras now 'on stage' at Animal Kingdom," 13 June 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.

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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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Statistics for meerkat

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for meerkat

The first known use of meerkat was in 1801

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More from Merriam-Webster on meerkat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meerkat Encyclopedia article about meerkat

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to deny responsibility for

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