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).
Recent Examples of mongoose from the Web
So the Madagascar Forest area will have fossas, a predator that’s related to the mongoose.
So the Madagascar Forest area will have fossas, a weird-looking predator (dog-like face, cat-like claws and teeth) that’s related to the mongoose.
Insects lay eggs in the carcasses, creating food for mongooses and ibis.
Found only in the subtropical forests of an island in Japan called Amami Oshima, Amami spiny rats are threatened by habitat destruction, competition with black rats not native to the island and predation by mongooses and feral cats and dogs.
As recently as August, Indian officials arrested people suspected of smuggling 12 pounds of mongoose hair, the equivalent of more than 130 animals, the New Indian Express reported.
At Chennai, a mongoose reportedly emerged from the surrounding forest and attacked the tortoise in its enclosure.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mongoose'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of mongoose
Hindi & Marathi mãgūs, from Prakrit maṁgūsa
First Known Use: 1673See Words from the same year
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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