rac·​coon | \ ra-ˈkün also rə- How to pronounce raccoon (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural raccoon or raccoons also racoon or racoons

Definition of raccoon

1a : a small nocturnal carnivore (Procyon lotor) of North America that is chiefly gray, has a black mask and bushy ringed tail, lives chiefly in trees, and has a varied diet including small animals, fruits, and nuts
b : the pelt of this animal
2 : any of several animals resembling or related to the raccoon

Illustration of raccoon

Illustration of raccoon

raccoon 1a

Examples of raccoon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Almost always after dark, solo mothers would come into town looking for small prey, such as raccoons, skunks, turkeys or pets. Seth Boster, The Denver Post, "An up-close mission to understand mountain lions in Colorado — but is it too close?," 6 June 2019 But in a statement, Staff said the raccoon was anything but friendly. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al.com, "Atmore mayor defends killing raccoon with shovel in incident caught on video," 4 June 2019 While a baked raccoon at a fire station is unusual, pets on pot hardly are. Author: Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, "This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station," 20 Apr. 2018 Animal Complaint, Crestview Drive: Police were dispatched to a home 7:45 a.m. Feb. 2 where a dog cornered a raccoon and the dog owner needed help separating the two. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Online gamer is sent from his portal by police: Russell blotter," 6 Mar. 2018 The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that a homeowner in Sheridan Township sought help Friday after the raccoons fell from an attic. CBS News, "Raccoon family falls through ceiling of Michigan home," 7 May 2018 Sarah Bowman/IndyStar Indiana's bobcats, raccoons, opossums and coyotes might be spared after all. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Bobcats, raccoons and coyotes might be saved, now it's up to the Natural Resources Commission," 10 May 2018 The open water surrounding the islands helps protect the highly vulnerable concentrations of ground-nesting birds from predation from raccoons, snakes and other terrestrial predators. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Cow Trap Lake Project a success on multiple levels," 10 May 2018 Opossums, raccoons, feral cats and hawks also made meals of the eggs. Billy Witz, New York Times, "After Yankees Exile ‘Goose’ and Then the Geese, Who’s Next?," 3 Mar. 2018

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

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for raccoon

Virginia Algonquian raugroughcun, arocoun

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Statistics for raccoon

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for raccoon

The first known use of raccoon was in 1608

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More Definitions for raccoon



English Language Learners Definition of raccoon

: a small North American animal with grayish-brown fur that has black fur around its eyes and black rings around its tail
: the fur of a raccoon


rac·​coon | \ ra-ˈkün\

Kids Definition of raccoon

: a small North American animal that is mostly gray with black around the eyes, has a bushy tail with black rings, is active mostly at night, and eats small animals, fruits, eggs, and insects

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More from Merriam-Webster on raccoon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raccoon

Spanish Central: Translation of raccoon

Nglish: Translation of raccoon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about raccoon

Comments on raccoon

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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