rac·​coon | \ra-ˈkün 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

Customers mingle with raccoons at the Table A cafe in Seoul. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "That Raccoon Rooting Through Your Trash Could Be a Big Star in Seoul," 7 Nov. 2018 And in urban and suburban areas, predators come in all shapes and sizes, from coyotes to raccoons to hawks. Denise Foley, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Raising Backyard Chickens," 14 Aug. 2018 In the post, the author compares Pete's eyes first to human anatomy, and then to the eyes of a raccoon. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Slams Blog on Twitter for Shaming Pete Davidson's Health," 24 Aug. 2018 Growing up, kids would call me a raccoon, because my eyes were deeper set. Brooke Hauser, Marie Claire, "How Immigration Shaped These Female Founders and CEOs," 23 Aug. 2018 Since then, animal cases (squirrels, raccoons and deer) have been found from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "What is Keystone virus? Brain-swelling sickness carried by mosquitoes can infect humans," 25 June 2018 Its fruit are eaten by everything from opossum and squirrels, to fox and raccoons. Andrew Moore, Good Housekeeping, "A Beginner's Guide To Growing Pawpaw—The Delicious Fruit You're Not Eating," 12 Jan. 2018 The hashtag #mprraccoon was trending on Wednesday where fans anxiously watched developments of the raccoon's stunt. Author: Brendan O'brien, Anchorage Daily News, "Raccoon triumphs over Minnesota skyscraper, celebrates with cat food," 13 June 2018 As a certain Minneapolis raccoon recently discovered, climbing in the big city can be a dicey experience. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Climb the wall at Maggie Daley Park for free, thanks to Coors," 25 June 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

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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