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

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 This time, a resident found a raccoon with its foot stuck inside a mailbox on East Poney Creek Road. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Residents in this KC area community are finding dead animals in mailboxes | The Kansas City Star," 3 Apr. 2018 Rabies is carried by mammals — usually wild animals like raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes — and spreads to humans when a carrier bites them. Andy Marso, kansascity, "After JoCo bat tests positive for rabies, health department warns residents of danger," 10 July 2018 As of Tuesday evening, the raccoon had climbed to the 23rd floor. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Climbing raccoon scales Minnesota skyscraper, defies death and becomes internet famous," 13 June 2018 Critter alert This valley is full of raccoons and skunks, both loving pet food. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Keeping our roses sweet requires a vigilant fight against bacterial cane blight," 29 June 2018 The raccoon that captivated America this week encompassed this duality. SFChronicle.com, "Last Word: The raccoon that rose above," 15 June 2018 In the ensuing several hours, the raccoon climbed just three more floors, then settled in for another nap. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Raccoon Climbs 25 Stories to Reach Top of Minnesota Skyscraper," 13 June 2018 As night descended on St. Paul, the raccoon appeared to start climbing down, before reversing course. Bani Sapra, CNN, "Raccoon captivates internet with Minnesota skyscraper climb," 13 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

3 Oct 2018

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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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