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 nutsb : the pelt of this animal
2 : any of several animals resembling or related to the raccoon
Recent Examples of raccoon from the Web
Police checked the area, and concluded the noise likely came from a raccoon.
Paintings of his also exist that show raccoons, bears and deer, among other wildlife, as well as a panoramic landscape depicting Natchez, Miss.
No doubt the star of the show will be Rocket, a talking raccoon who leads guests on the mission — and up and down a 193-foot tower — to free the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Deer grazed on bushes nearby and raccoons wandered liberally, enticed by the bowls of food and water set out by Mr. Shields.
One of the more expensive ones can attract — among other animals — coyotes and raccoons.
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.
Origin and Etymology of raccoon
Virginia Algonquian raugroughcun, arocoun
First Known Use: 1608See Words from the same year
RACCOON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of raccoon for English Language Learners
: 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
RACCOON Defined for Kids
Definition of raccoon for Students
: 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
History for raccoon
Like hickory, moccasin, and tomahawk, the word raccoon comes from an American Indian language that was spoken around the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. The English colonist John Smith—famous for having his life spared by Pocahontas—first recorded the name for the unfamiliar animal as aroughcun, rarowcun, and raugroughcun.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up raccoon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).