Definition of mongoose
: any of numerous long slender carnivorous mammals (family Herpestidae) chiefly of Africa and southern Europe and Asia that are usually ferret-sized agile mammals typically with nonretractile sharp claws, short legs, long tail, and usually brownish or grayish fur sometimes with bands or stripes ◆Mongooses feed chiefly on small animals (such as insects, earthworms, birds, snakes, and rodents) and are sometimes grouped with the viverrids in two subfamilies (Herpestinae and Galidiinae).
Origin and Etymology of mongoose
Hindi & Marathi mãgūs, from Prakrit maṁgūsa
First Known Use: 1673
MONGOOSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mongoose for English Language Learners
: a small and very fast animal from India that eats snakes and rodents
MONGOOSE Defined for Kids
Definition of mongoose for Students
: a long thin furry animal with sharp claws that eats small animals (as snakes and mice), eggs, and fruit
Seen and Heard
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