: a medium-sized American wildcat (Felis pardalis) that ranges from Texas to northern Argentina and has a tawny-yellow or grayish coat dotted and striped with black

Illustration of ocelot

Illustration of ocelot

Examples of ocelot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jaguars and ocelots sometimes cross into Arizona as well and still have some openings to do so, such as where former Gov. Doug Ducey authorized the construction of a wall out of shipping containers in the San Rafael Valley southwest of Sierra Vista. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 9 Sep. 2023 Critters on the Border As an additional wildlife conservation measure, DHS will put $1.1 million toward research monitoring Peninsular bighorn sheep, Sonoran desert pronghorn, Mexican gray wolves, jaguars, and ocelots in the borderlands. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 20 July 2023 The animals typically feed on fruits, seeds, nuts and invertebrates, the zoo added, and their main predators are large birds of prey, jaguars, ocelots and large constrictor snakes. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 7 Oct. 2023 The ocelot endeavor is a novel approach, Marinari says. Amy Mathews Amos, Scientific American, 4 Sep. 2023 Outside, the property’s 624 acres are populated by deer, ocelots and snakes that roam through gardens of Kalach’s own design; here as elsewhere, the architect’s approach to landscaping is hands-off, focused on reordering existing vegetation and grouping similar species together. Suleman Anaya Fabian Martinez, New York Times, 20 Sep. 2023 Holes in the Wall The document outlines plans for 20 small wildlife passages that can be no smaller than 8.5 by 11 inches—big enough to allow ocelots, coyotes, foxes, rodents, and other little critters through the wall to the other side. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 20 July 2023 While jaguars and ocelots are not believed to have had breeding populations in Arizona in recent decades, individuals of both species at times have been confirmed roaming from Mexico into several southern Arizona ranges. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 20 June 2023 In the basement is the nightclub Babou, named for artist Salvador Dalí's capricious pet ocelot. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 15 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ocelot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from Nahuatl ōcēlōtl jaguar

First Known Use

1774, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ocelot was in 1774

Dictionary Entries Near ocelot

Cite this Entry

“Ocelot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ocelot. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a medium-sized American wildcat that is found from Texas to northern Argentina and has a tawny yellow or grayish coat marked with black

More from Merriam-Webster on ocelot

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