polecat

noun pole·cat \ ˈpōl-ˌkat \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of polecat

plural polecats or polecat
1 :any of several carnivorous mammals (as of the genera Mustela or Vormela) of the weasel family; especially :a brown to black European mammal (M. putorius) from which the domesticated ferret is derived
2 :skunk

Recent Examples of polecat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polecat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of polecat

Middle English polcat, probably from Middle French poul, pol cock + Middle English cat; probably from its preying on poultry — more at pullet

Other Mammals Terms


POLECAT Defined for English Language Learners

polecat

noun

Definition of polecat for English Language Learners

  • : a European animal that has dark brown fur and a long thin body and that gives off a bad smell to defend itself


POLECAT Defined for Kids

polecat

noun pole·cat \ ˈpōl-ˌkat \

Definition of polecat for Students

plural polecats or polecat
1 :a brown or black European animal related to the weasel
2 :skunk


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a blind with adjustable horizontal slats

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!