rac·​coon | \ ra-ˈkün How to pronounce raccoon (audio) also rə- \
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 school said people should be aware of their surroundings in the area and seek medical attention immediately if they are scratched or bitten by a raccoon or any other wildlife. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 Good luck living up to the achievement of this brilliant, lifesaving raccoon. Jake Goldwasser, The New Yorker, 7 Apr. 2022 Now, the ringtail sits alongside several other new additions: the Rock squirrel, fox squirrel, rat, raccoon, armadillo, bobcat, gray fox and axis deer. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Nov. 2021 Scientists have known since at least 2003 that raccoon dogs can carry SARS coronaviruses. Steven Salzberg, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 Another co-author, Chris Newman, a wildlife biologist at the University of Oxford, was part of a research team that documented a number of live, wild mammals for sale at the Huanan market in November and December of 2019, including raccoon dogs. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 28 Feb. 2022 When researchers tested surfaces at the market for the virus' genetic material, there was one stall with the most positives, including in a cage where one researcher had previously seen mammals called raccoon dogs being kept. Katherine Dillinger, CNN, 26 Feb. 2022 Hauling our water in thick raccoon-proof containers — about 18 gallons of it, weighing some 150 pounds — was a heavy burden. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 Fox took a brief respite from her signature raccoon eye look and instead opted for a classic and glamorous cat-eye. Carrie Wittmer, Glamour, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of raccoon was in 1608

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Statistics for raccoon

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Raccoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raccoon. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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

More from Merriam-Webster on raccoon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for raccoon

Nglish: Translation of raccoon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about raccoon


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