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 program is designed to boost wildlife rabies vaccination rates and prevent the reemergence of raccoon rabies. NBC News, "Helicopter to drop rabies vaccines for wildlife over Cape Cod," 2 May 2021 The second incident found a resident using a crossbow to shoot a raccoon that had distemper. John Benson, cleveland, "Raccoon cruelty incidents lead Parma Heights to tweak animal care language," 11 Nov. 2020 Don't worry about getting raccoon eyes — there are lots of amazing long-wear makeup products out there these days. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "15 Summer Makeup Tips to Sweat-Proof Your Look, According to Makeup Artists," 22 Apr. 2021 Warding off the evil eye is a custom in many cultures, but Ganjoo has reinvented and tailored Kajal to the needs and wants of the South Asian consumer: a high pigment and creamy glide without the usual raccoon eyes. Mehrunnisa Wani, Forbes, "Kulfi, The South Asian Brand Claiming Its Space And Narrative In The Beauty Industry," 14 Apr. 2021 There are many such farms in China and Southeast Asia, and the animals on them, like raccoon dogs and civets, have contact with both bats and people. James Gorman, New York Times, "With Virus Origins Still Obscure, W.H.O. and Critics Look to Next Steps," 7 Apr. 2021 If Marvel fans were ready to buy a talking raccoon and tree, the sky -- or rather, universe -- really was the limit. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Marvel shows off its deep bench of characters in 'Falcon' and 'WandaVision'," 15 Apr. 2021 And then a raccoon jumps in for a swim and the tension is lifted. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, "Good Trouble Recap: New Moon, New You," 31 Mar. 2021 The night her dear friend Kathy dies, Beard’s duck house is ravaged by wind and the ducks are killed by a raccoon. Washington Post, "Jo Ann Beard, best known for her New Yorker essay about a shooting, returns with a beautiful new collection," 11 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for raccoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of raccoon was in 1608

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Statistics for raccoon

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Raccoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raccoon. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

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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