ichneumon

[ik-noo-muhn, -nyoo-]
noun
1.
Also called African mongoose, Egyptian mongoose. a slender, long-tailed mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, inhabiting Africa and southern Europe, and believed by the ancient Egyptians to devour crocodile eggs.

Origin:
1565–75; < Latin < Greek ichneúmōn tracker, equivalent to ichneú(ein) to track (see ichno-) + -mōn agent suffix

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Collins
World English Dictionary
ichneumon (ɪkˈnjuːmən)
 
n
a mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of Africa and S Europe, having greyish-brown speckled fur
 
[C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: tracker, hunter, from ikhneuein to track, from ikhnos a footprint; so named from the animal's alleged ability to locate the eggs of crocodiles]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ichneumon
1572, originally a weasel-like animal in Egypt, from Gk. ichneumon, lit. "searcher," perhaps because it hunts crocodile eggs, from ichneuein "hunt for, track," from ichnos "a track," of unknown origin. Used by Aristotle for a species of wasp that hunts spiders.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

ichneumon

any of a large and widely distributed insect group (order Hymenoptera) of considerable economic importance. The name sometimes refers to any member of the superfamily Ichneumonoidea, which includes the families Stephanidae, Braconidae, and Ichneumonidae. The Stephanidae, a largely tropical group, consists of several hundred species, and the Braconidae is a large, widely distributed group found in both temperate and tropical regions

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Not that the ichneumon wasp is making any conscious choice.
We did find a large ichneumon wasp that had drowned in our bucket and a large wolf spider quite alive.
Descriptions of one new family, eight new genera, and thirty-three new species of ichneumon-flies.
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