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

The hole is being controlled by mischievous raccoons that are hungry for trash (and by the player). Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Donut County is a game about swallowing Los Angeles and realizing you’re an asshole," 1 Sep. 2018 The date ends with a random singer-songwriter (Ben Rector, according to Google) plays soft acoustic music while Krystal and Chris dance in the middle of the pool and the raccoon wanders around. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, Episode 9 Recap: We Need to Talk About the 'Russian Witch Hunt'," 5 Sep. 2018 Charges aren't pending, even though in all likelihood the raccoon is a repeat offender. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha woman mistakes raccoon for burglar, calls police," 13 June 2018 Firefighters at Wayne Township [Ind.] Station 82 opened the door early Friday morning to a one-of-a-kind request for help: A frantic woman, distressed because her pet raccoon was stoned off of too much weed. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Texas tussle stretches Senate map," 18 Apr. 2018 Birds may be a problem at both seeding and harvesting time, while raccoons are fond of the ripening ears. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Corn," 5 Apr. 2016 This behavior differentiates cougars from bears, raccoons and several other species of wildlife in North America. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cougar unseen but not forgotten in southeastern Wisconsin over past week," 24 Feb. 2018 Finally, make sure there are no baby raccoons in the chimney. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "So You Want To Fix Your Chimney," 21 Dec. 2018 They’ve been known to feed on livestock like sheep, goats, cattle, and horses as well humans, dogs, cats, birds, and a range of wild animals, including bears, foxes, raccoons, rabbits, deer, and opossum. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US invaded by savage tick that sucks animals dry, spawns without mating," 8 Aug. 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

7 Mar 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

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