oce·​lot | \ ˈä-sə-ˌlät How to pronounce ocelot (audio) , ˈō- How to pronounce ocelot (audio) \

Definition of ocelot

: 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

Board a boat at Atalaya and cruise even deeper into the rainforest, on the lookout for monkeys, giant anteaters, tapirs, ocelots, armadillos, peccaries, caimans, and the numerous bird species that inhabit Manú National Park. National Geographic, "Peru & the Amazon High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador Immerse yourself in Ecuador’s cloud forest—home to endemic amphibians, ocelots, and more than 500 species of birds—at this high-design, three-story, glass-and-steel lodge. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 8 Best Experiential Eco-Lodges in South America," 19 Jan. 2018 In reality, however, the ocelot’s fight for survival is far more complicated. Jeremy Schwartz, ajc, "Trump's border wall threatens endangered Texas ocelot," 31 Mar. 2018 Development has also wiped out natural habitat there, and years of cartel violence have hobbled research into Mexican ocelot populations just south of the Rio Grande. Jeremy Schwartz, ajc, "Trump's border wall threatens endangered Texas ocelot," 31 Mar. 2018 But the refuge is 2,000 acres of protected federal land home to nearly 200 species, including some that are endangered, like the ocelot. Vanessa Yurkevich And Tal Kopan, CNN, "Congress moves to block border wall in key wildlife refuge," 22 Mar. 2018 Smaller wildcats in captivity, such as servals or ocelots, are often fed a domestic cat-like diet, while big cats such as jaguars and leopards get meat and animal carcasses. National Geographic, "Do Big Cats Get Hairballs?," 17 Mar. 2018 Some of the wetland wildlife includes waterfowl, river otters, gators, turtles, snakes, ocelots, foxes, frogs and many other things. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "The Houston Zoo is under construction for new exhibit," 26 Jan. 2018 Long, squat, flat-faced jaguarundis have a uniform coat, while small, agile ocelots sport striking coat patterns. National Geographic, "Striking Pictures of Mexico's Wildlife for Cinco de Mayo," 6 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ocelot.' 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 ocelot

1774, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ocelot

French, from Nahuatl ōcēlōtl jaguar

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Statistics for ocelot

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for ocelot

The first known use of ocelot was in 1774

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English Language Learners Definition of ocelot

: a wildcat that lives mainly in Central and South America and that has light brown fur with black spots and stripes


oce·​lot | \ ˈä-sə-ˌlät How to pronounce ocelot (audio) , ˈō-\

Kids Definition of ocelot

: a medium-sized American wildcat that is yellowish brown or grayish and blotched with black

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More from Merriam-Webster on ocelot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ocelot

Spanish Central: Translation of ocelot

Nglish: Translation of ocelot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ocelot

Comments on ocelot

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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