serval

noun
ser·​val | \ ˈsər-vəl How to pronounce serval (audio) , (ˌ)sər-ˈval \

Definition of serval

: a long-legged African wildcat (Felis serval) having large ears and a tawny black-spotted coat

Illustration of serval

Illustration of serval

Examples of serval in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to the outlet, Frank found a serval — a wild cat native to Africa sometimes kept as an exotic pet — in her bed. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 7 July 2021 The animal has since been identified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a serval, which is usually a wild cat native to Africa. Hayley Vaughn, NBC News, 6 July 2021 No one was hurt and her husband snapped a photo of the serval and shared it with state authorities, according to local Georgia ABC affiliate WSB-TV. Marlene Lenthang, ABC News, 3 July 2021 Prygoski says anyone who sees the serval should stay away from the cat and contact animal control or the DNR. Rachel Trent, CNN, 3 July 2021 Firefighters got the fire under control within 25 minutes, but at least one encountered the serval, a savannah wild cat native to Sub-Saharan Africa, and suffered injuries from a bite to the fingers. oregonlive, 18 Apr. 2021 Five serval cats also call the refuge home, plus a constant stream of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked animal. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2021 One serval kitten in a crate appeared lethargic, with watery eyes and diarrhea. Animals, 18 Dec. 2020 For $75 a night, visitors could share a small cabin with a bobcat, cougar, or serval. Rachel Nuwer, Longreads, 10 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serval.' 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 serval

1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for serval

French, from Portuguese lobo cerval lynx, from Medieval Latin lupus cervalis, literally, deerlike wolf

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Statistics for serval

Last Updated

9 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serval.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serval. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on serval

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about serval

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